After the news of Muhammad Ali’s death broke, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton went to the Players’ Tribune online site to post a personal recollection. He noted that he’d always admired Ali and his ability to have fun as an athlete and then went on to share the following story:
“One of the most memorable moments in my life – one that I will always cherish – was when I received a surprise birthday call from Muhammad Ali. I could not have been more in shock and in awe. He finished the surprise birthday call in true Ali fashion. He said, ‘You might be a good football player, but you will never be as pretty as me!’”
In February, after the Panthers’ Super Bowl loss, Newton posted a photo of himself on Instagram standing next to an Ali inspirational photo.