Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton is the cover boy for latest GQ Magazine and gives an in-depth interview that covers a lot of ground.
He tells GQ magazine that he doesn’t feel criticism aimed at him is racist or because he is a black quarterback.
“It’s not racism,” he tells GQ. “Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion.” And later: “I don’t want this to be about race, because it’s not. It’s not. Like, we’re beyond that. As a nation."
Asked what he thinks, then, is the root of the hyper-criticism he sometimes faces, Newton responded this way:
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“I’ll let you be the judge. I don’t look at it like that. I look at it like some people have certain beliefs, and I have my own belief, and we can agree to disagree on certain things. But this is what makes sports so amazing, that we can start a discussion around a table, in the newspaper, in the magazines, that will get people’s attention. And that’s what sports does."
We also learn that Newton carries an iPad with a case displaying the logo of Super Bowl 50, the game that the Panthers flamed out in last February losing to the Denver Broncos. Newton said after the game, and after that memorable press conference where he walked out early, that he went home and cried until 4 a.m.
"I had so much emotion," he told the magazine. "A lot of emotion. We play the game to win. And we didn’t."
And Newton said he doesn’t give much thought to what people thought about his actions afterwards.
"I could care less,” he said. “You know, what a person says to me, says about me—if it’s not coming out of (his son) Chosen’s mouth.… That’s what the birth of my son does. Like, what do I gain? Now I have purpose in this world. Whether a mean tweet, a mean (person) saying, ‘Hey, you’re supposed to do it like this’—if my son ain’t saying it, then it don’t matter to me."
In the interview, we learn that Newton orders Shirley Temples (extra syrup) with green tea over lunch, prays before he eats and that he started smoking cigars two years ago and started drinking wine, particularly Chardonnay, after the Super Bowl loss.
Cam even discusses the letter written to the Observer after he announced that he and his girlfriend were having a baby. Patricia Broderick wrote that Cam should marry Chosen’s mother.
"What do you want me to do, write another letter back to her?,” he said. “No. And she’s preaching to the choir. When she mentions those things, those are all things that I’ve thought about. With my father being a preacher, you don’t think I’ve had this discussion before?"