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NFL legend Ray Lewis said he worries if Panthers QB Cam Newton knows how to handle being a superstar.
Speaking on Fox Sports’ “Speak For Yourself” last week with former Charlotte Observer sportswriter Jason Whitlock, Lewis expressed concerns about Newton’s recent comments to the media that he didn’t feel safe during games because officials weren’t giving him the same calls that other quarterbacks were getting.
“In battle, any leader, any great leader, the last thing they think about is fear,” Lewis said. “You can’t take fear on the battlefield. When you cross the line, you already know, ‘Game on.’...I shared this with him two years ago in a playoff game in Carolina...I told him, ‘Don’t you ever let nobody see weakness. If you show somebody weakness, they will find it. To be frustrated is one thing, I get it. I want this to be clear. I 100-percent agree that he should be treated fairly in the pocket. But I do not understand (Newton) saying I’m scared for people, that nine times out of 10, you’re bigger than.”
The former Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl champion thinks Newton needs to lead more by example.
“Don’t put it on you,” Lewis said. “(Newton got mad at the Super Bowl because) the Broncos beat you up and now you’re sensitive about that, and now, you don’t want to speak to the media. Two weeks ago, people hit you and beating you up again and you don’t want to speak to the media. Now it’s all about Cam Newton. Young kid, wake up. You put the bulls’ eye on your chest. You’re (doing the Superman touchdown dance). You’re dabbing. Play football.”
Whitlock asked Lewis if he was concerned about Newton’s future success in the NFL.
“I think I’m more concerned about...him as a man,” Lewis responded, “with some of the things I’m starting to see. The game will one day fade. It’s the brand you carry (that will last). And (there are) things he’s starting to do that make me say, ‘Wow, baby boy, I know you very well. You’re a Lion. What are you doing?’
“Where my fear is that sometimes you can give someone something so fast and then it comes back because they don’t know how to handle it. I don’t know if he really knows how to handle stardom. I don’t know if he understands that. If he did, he would use his platforms to be a leader and not pout or whine or cry about football or losing. That’s part of the game.”