Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who has lived in the South his entire life and who is the face of the NFL franchise representing the Carolinas, said Friday it’s a “triumph” that the Confederate flag at the South Carolina State House has come down.
Speaking at the second annual Cam Newton Foundation 7-on-7 Championship at Nation Ford High in Fort Mill, S.C., Newton referenced several historic African-American figures as he celebrated the lowering of the flag.
He went on to say it’s not just about African-Americans but all races coming together and uniting.
“There shouldn’t be a discrepancy of this particular culture, this particular kind, this particular race between anybody else,” Newton said. “It’s very enlightening, it’s very impactful, to see that flag come down that was remembrance of something that’s not what this country is all about. This country is about the land of the free and anybody can become whatever they want. And with having a symbol that represented so much hatred, it’s just a triumph for it to come down.”
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The nine shooting deaths at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church last month served as the catalyst for Friday’s lowering of the flag, which happened at 10 a.m. during a ceremony at the State House.
Newton’s comments come less than three weeks after he visited family members of some of the victims from last month’s massacre.
“One thing that we have to realize in this life – that we have to use our influence in a positive way,” Newton said on June 26 when asked about his Charleston visit. “And that’s all I was just trying to do. It was a senseless act. But at the same time, it was done in South Carolina, and being the face of a franchise that’s based out of North Carolina, it’s the whole gamut. So why didn’t I go? That’s the thing. I would have had to question myself if I didn’t go. I’m happy I did it, and so much respect to those families who lost their loved ones.”
Jones: 704-358-5323; Twitter: @jjones9