Cam Newton doesn’t owe anyone anything, and he knows it

AUSTIN HAMM Sports Editor

Welcome to this week’s column, in which I stand on my insignificant soapbox and anger as many people as I can. Cam Newton abruptly ended his post-Super Bowl press conference by saying “I’m done, man,” and walking off the stage. This, of course, set off a widespread reaction by people in and out of the media about his immaturity.

I get this, at least in part. Newton has been as flamboyantly successful as any NFL player in recent memory this season, and that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. And I can see how he got that reaction. The confidence he exudes can easily be seen as arrogance, and when he names his firstborn son Chosen, it gets even easier. So when he was handed a difficult situation and didn’t handle it with absolute professionalism the vultures swooped in, basically calling “AH HA!” on his misstep.

But those same people are apparently turning a blind eye toward what some of the victorious Broncos said in their own post game pressers. For example, cornerback Chris Harris was literally saying the Denver’s game plan was to call Newton out, and was saying that well within Cam’s earshot, which is what many speculate as what led to Newton’s abrupt departure. Not that Harris was saying anything particularly offensive, but can anyone blame Cam for having a struggle sitting there listening to that in light of his falling short on his biggest stage as a professional?

And how about Aquib Talib? “You’re looking gorgeous, baby. We’re gonna get it in tonight,” he said in his postgame press conference. Where’s the outrage about that one? No one wants to yell about the incredibly inappropriate remark just because he won the game. It’s a known fact that winning absolves nearly all sins, but the discrepancy seems a bit much here.

But this all stems from the fact that people seem so upset with Cam for walking off the podium. And that stems from an even bigger, stupider problem, which is the fact that athletes are expected to be shiny role models.

This is something I’ve taken issue with for quite a while. What has an athlete done to warrant the burden/pedestal of a role model? Some athletes choose to be that role model, but the flaw here comes form the fact that because some want to be the role model, we force that mold on the entirety of professional sports. Charles Barkley didn’t want to be a role model. Maybe Cam Newton doesn’t either.

But once again, I seem to be digressing from my main point. Everyone cares so much about Cam walking out of that press conference. Except Cam, who spoke to reporters Tuesday and said that if he offended anyone “It’s cool.” That will likely make a large contingent mad, particularly the entitled members of the media. But honestly, who cares? Obviously not Cam. He doesn’t owe anyone anything after this season and that Super Bowl, and that’s what needs to be remembered.