By now, you realize Cam Newton is the most polarizing player in the NFL.
His Carolina Panthers are 13-0 yet still can’t seem to gain an ounce of respect from those outside of Charlotte, NC.
He’s the front-runner for NFL MVP as I write this, yet folks would rather credit the Panthers’ defense. He hands his touchdown-scoring footballs to young children after every score yet people would rather outcry over his end zone and first down dancing ‘antics’.
And again, in his team’s 38-0 dismemberment of the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, fans and media alike would rather denounce another helpless Cam Newton decision and spin it to make Cam look like the most imaginary villain the world has ever seen.
The image is above and it’s of Carolina’s offense—basically the whole offense—posing for a picture on the sidelines with about two minutes left in the 4th quarter. It sparked yet another outcry of supposed arrogance and lack of class by one Cam Newton.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
With that said, Newton didn’t let the 38-0 win over Atlanta pass without giving his detractors a new moment to grouse about, one that went beyond the typical first-down and touchdown celebrations. While that stuff is a debatable matter of entertainment preference, the Panthers’ offense – including Newton – crossed over a line of arrogance with two minutes left in the game against the Falcons. Closing out the blowout, Newton and more than a dozen offensive players gathered to take a celebratory group photo on the sideline.
There shouldn’t be any issues with celebrating first downs or scores, but players are clearly showing up an opponent when they start taking group celebration photos before a game has concluded. Doing that is disrespectful, plain and simple. Newton and the coaching staff should have known that. Maybe they did and don’t care. Either way, waiting to take the photo until after the game would have been a classier move.
That’s from Yahoo!’s Charles Robinson, a respected voice in the sports journalism community. But even Robinson isn’t safe from being sucked into the Newton hate tornado.
He cites that the Panthers’ photo was arrogant. Yeah, it was. But everything in the NFL is done with a breath of arrogance. It’s the fucking NFL for Christ’s sake. And why point the finger directly at Cam for a group photo taken with like 15 people as if he is the lone culprit in something as harmless as sideline photography?
The point is, people will find anything to talk about this guy. And when given the choice to highlight the positive or the negative, they’re always going to choose the latter.
Because, for whatever reason, talking extensively about plays like this just isn’t as fun.
Cam Newton is very good. pic.twitter.com/8OvVr2uf9x
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) December 13, 2015