Cam Newton was in Atlanta this weekend for a charity event in Atlanta for the Cam Newton Foundation “Fun Day.” He gave an interview to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, quoted here in the Charlotte Observer.
Q: The Panthers came pretty close to sweeping the Falcons last season. How tough is it playing your hometown team?
Newton: It’s always a heavily critiqued game. … I’ve always been a Falcons fan, and I’m still a Falcons fan except for those two times a year.
Newton gets critiqued for his body language, his press conference demeanor, and his touchdown celebrations. You can be sure that Newton will catch some grief. Last year, the same paper that ran this item and highlighted it had a cartoon of Newton with a Hello Kitty shirt. The silliness associated with Colin Kaepernick wearing a Dolphins hat last week–and that was just as a piece of apparel where he expressed no fandom otherwise–shows how much people are going to react. The fan outrage would have been way worse if Kaepernick had, say, worn a Seahawks outfit.
Newton grew up in Georgia, he was a fan of Michael Vick and the Falcons when he was a kid. We expect athletes to completely be unlike other people, automatons. Another non-issue, unless it were to somehow affect his actual game preparation. Still, expect every word of that sentence to be psycho-analyzed now.
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[photo via USA Today Sports Images]