The Tennessee Titans weren’t the only ones not thrilled with Cam Newton’s showboating in the Panthers’ victory 27-10 Sunday.
The mother of a 9-year-old girl was in the stands and penned an open letter to Newton that was submitted to the Charlotte Observer. Rosemary Plorin of Nashville wrote that it was the first game that her 9-year-old daughter attended and they were close enough to see how Newton behaved. The player that has gotten the most attention was when he danced in the face of Titans linebacker Avery Williamson.
Because of where we sat, we had a close up view of your conduct in the fourth quarter. The chest puffs. The pelvic thrusts. The arrogant struts and the ‘in your face’ taunting of both the Titans’ players and fans. We saw it all.
I refuse to believe you don’t realize you are a role model. You are paid millions of dollars every week to play hard and be a leader. In the off season you’re expected to make appearances, support charities, and inspire young kids to pursue your sport and all sports. With everything the NFL has gone through in recent years, I’m confident they have advised that you are, by virtue of your position and career choice, a role model.
And because you are a role model, your behavior brought out like behavior in the stands. Some of the Panthers fans in our section began taunting the hometown fans. Many Titans fans booed you, a few offering instructive, but not necessarily family friendly, suggestions as to how you might change your behavior.
I could tell she was still thinking about it as we boarded a shuttle back to our car. “I guess he doesn’t have kids or a Mom at home watching the game,” she added.
I don’t know about your family life Mr. Newton, but I think I’m safe in saying thousands of kids watch you every week. You have amazing talent and an incredible platform to be a role model for them. Unfortunately, what you modeled for them today was egotism, arrogance and poor sportsmanship.
Is that what your coaches and mentors modeled for you, Mr. Newton?