Carolina Panther Cam Newton came face to face with a “class clown” this week during a visit to Charlotte’s Sedgefield Middle School, and ended up winning the moment with a sound explanation of Christmas spirit.
In the process, Newton won a lot of fans on social media, after video of the moment was posted on the Charlotte Observer’s Facebook page.
It happened Dec. 19, during Newton’s annual Santa Cam’s Surprise Sleigh program, to pass out gift cards to families in need at four schools. One teen at Sedgefield brought the boisterous class to a hush by suggesting Newton was profiting from the visit.
“I used to go to school with folks like you,” said Newton, a knowing grin crossing his face. “You probably think that I got paid to make an appearance, to come see you and your class clown’ self...How much you think they had to pay me?”
“A lot...at least $1,000,” the student replied.
Newton didn’t skip a beat. He proceeded to quiz the student and the class on what $1,000 would buy in today’s society, ultimately making a point that it wasn’t much money.
“On record,” Newton finally said, “I got nothing. I just wanted to come, shake your hand, put you in the Christmas spirit. You dig what I’m saying? That’s it. Like I say, You don’t have to get financial means to make a person in the Christmas thing. I’m not that type of guy.”
In a humorous twist, the video ends with the student asking Newton to autograph his shirt.
“For $1,000,” Newton says, bringing a round of laughs.
Social media loved the exchange, lauding Newton for the parenting skills he has developed since becoming a father two years go, on Christmas Eve.
“I’m a college professor. I see these kids very soon after they graduate,” posted Drew Kinney on Facebook. “Thanks Cam Newton for being real with these kids. They already feed of off the cult of personality. What they need is personable, grounded folks who actually live up to being role models.”
“And Puffy wants to replace this guy with Kaepernick?” posted Brian Wiltshire of Lewisville, Texas, referring to news reports that rapper Diddy wants to buy the Panthers and make Colin Kaepernick the team’s quarterback.
“I hope the parents of these kids watch this a few times. There's a whole lot that can be said,” posted Von Finney.