In an interview published today on ESPN’s website, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton weighs in on Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who has become a water-cooler topic after his refusal to stand during the national anthem this NFL preseason.
“Who am I to say that it’s wrong or who am I to say that it’s right,” Newton said. “Either or, it’s still personal.”
Newton then also addressed race in America, and athletes, like Kaepernick, who speak out on social issues.
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"What I can’t fathom is,” he said, “how does one-eighth of an inch, something so small, be the difference and such a big commodity in our whole lifetime? And that’s the thickness of our skin, one-eighth of an inch. And under that, we’re all the same color, and that’s the big picture. A lot of scrutiny happens when an athlete starts talking about, you know, race, but the truth of the matter is we’ve just got to do right by each other, no matter what color you are. Certain things that have happened in our lifetime, it is kind of embarrassing to be affiliated with, but it still happens. But who am I to say, ‘Colin, you’re wrong, bro’? And who am I to say, ‘Bro, you’re right’? Because we all have the right to think whatever we want to think, and I respect that about everybody."