Cam Newton has been criticized a lot lately as a result of his opinions on race and Colin Kaepernick. During an interview with GQ over the summer, he said that he doesn’t think his race has anything to do with the way that some NFL fans perceive him, and he also toed the line while speaking with ESPN about Kaepernick’s recent protests, saying things like "we’re all the same color" that didn’t sit well with some people. And the fact that Newton has reportedly been coached on race by white political consultant Frank Luntz hasn’t helped his cause either.
Some people have suggested that Newton should simply stop talking about race if he doesn’t feel comfortable doing it, but it would have been just about impossible for him to do that Wednesday during a press conference. On Tuesday, a police officer shot and killed Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, and because Newton obviously makes a living playing football in the city, he was asked for his thoughts on Scott’s killing. He responded by saying that he was going to be criticized regardless of what he said and then talked about how he feels when it comes to race, police brutality, and more.
Here is Newton’s full response:
I’m in a position now where it’s like, you know, if I say something, it’s going to be critiqued, and if I don’t say something, 'Oh, you fake,' or, 'You flawed.' I’m a firm believer of justice. I’m a firm believer of doing the right thing—and I can’t repeat it enough—of just holding people accountable. I’m an African-American. I am not happy with what or how justice has been, kind of, dealt with over the years, the state of oppression in our community. But we also, as black people, have to do right by ourselves. We can’t be hypocrites. I say that on one voice and also another voice that when you go public or when things happen in the community, it’s not the fact that things are happening. It’s the way they’re being treated after they happen. When you get a person that does some unjust things or killing an innocent person or killing fathers and killing people who have actual families, that’s real. Like, I have a son and a daughter that I’m responsible for. How would I be if one day they come home and it’s no more daddy? It’s not like, it’s just like, 'Okay, you get a settlement for…' It doesn’t matter. Money doesn’t matter. We just need people to be held accountable.
Newton went on to say that his "heart mourns" for Scott’s family, and he called police brutality "embarrassing." He also said his goal is to "bring unity" in Charlotte through football. And after his press conference, he continued by posting a photo of him and Kaepernick on Instagram along with a long caption expanding on his thoughts on race and social injustices. For some unexplained reason, Newton continues to use a series of wild letters and symbols to write his IG captions, so we’ve typed his caption out below just in case you have trouble reading what he wrote:
I salute my brother @kaepernick7 for making a stand for injustice in this country but the real problem is and will always be the people and how we treat one another! I see a lot of memes and even articles about Cam vs. Kap, are they OK? But the truth is we are good and will always be good. We all are different and have the right to feel anyway we want to and I salute him for standing (in this care, kneeling) for something to, if not fix the issues, raise awareness of the issues. I’m an African-American that’s black and proud to the day I die and I try to make an impact in my community as much as I can. How are you making a difference? But it all goes for nothing if we all don’t police ourselves and love one another no matter what the race is! We all have to do better and be held accountable for our actions (police included). I’m not here to talk about race, I’m here to talk about what’s right! And we all have to do what’s right no matter the race, age, or gender. #weallwantandneedjustice #standforsomething #standforwhatsright #dontdwellonthenegativity #bethesolution #alllovehereformybrotha #haterswillsayitsphotoshopped