It’s easy to be happy and peppy and bursting with love when things are going well but the measure of a person is always best determined by how they act when things are not going well. In this regard Cam Newton fails miserably.
Newton loves to showboat and “have fun” when the Carolina Panthers are winning. But when things are not going well or the team is losing like in the Super Bowl, Newton sulks and becomes surly. The entire team seems to revel in mocking their opponents by taking celebratory selfies before the game ends. Their excessive and demonstrative behavior rubs a lot of people the wrong way.
Is it any wonder, a number of people are enjoying the humble pie Newton and the Panthers are now eating? It’s reminiscent of the well-deserved crow Ronda Rousey ate. Do you think anyone on the Panthers would have appreciated the Broncos taking selfies in the final minute of the Super Bowl? I hope a lesson was learned.
I like watching athletes get excited when they score but there is a fine line between enjoying the moment and taunting. Depending on your point of view determines how you feel about Newton’s Superman celebration after scoring a touchdown.
Instead of Superman, about 112 million viewers saw the Incredible Sulk during Newton’s 60 minute melt down. He did more to tarnish is image in that hour than he can ever recover in years. And it serves him right. He earned it with his behavior.
His handlers and apologists are feverishly trying to explain his behavior. But how can you defend his actions? Most people now believe he is a spoiled sport because that’s what you are when you carry on when winning but hide when losing. He acted like a petulant child.
Late in the game he was scrambling in the end zone and took a hard hit as he released the ball. He looked to the referee to call a penalty but no flag was thrown. Newton threw himself on the ground like a two year old throwing a temper tantrum. Throughout the game, rather than cheering on his teammates, he sulked on the sideline. That’s not the actions of a leader.
To make matters worse, after the game the usually loquacious Newton after wins had very little to say during his postgame interview. He abruptly left the press conference after seven questions that featured short, curt answers. This immediately brought to mind his behavior earlier in the season when the Panthers lost to the Atlanta Falcons, Newton left the field without congratulating his opponents. I’m sensing a pattern.
He is an extremely talented player but his behavior is concerning. He’s a role model and has legions of young fans. With that comes responsibility. At this point, the only way I would use Newton as a role model is to instruct my children how not to act.
It appears Newton enjoys the spoils of his talents but not the subsequent responsibility it brings. If he’s going to dance like a clown when things are going his way he better stand up and face the music when things are not going his way. There is more to being a professional athlete than what transpires between the lines. It’s also called being a responsible adult.
The damage control narrative is that Newton wears his heart on his sleeve which is a legitimate point. He should not change who he is or what makes him great. Perhaps someone should tell him it’s also acceptable to comprehend there is more to his role than him. He needs to be cognizant that his actions say more about who he is than anything he says…or doesn’t say.
It seems Newton found his Kryptonite and it’s himself.