Someone once said if you have haters, you're clearly doing something right. Unfortunately for Cam Newton, he has many of them and experienced their wrath in response to a simple football opinion he shared on his "4th & 1" show last week.
It was a harmless discussion about today's NFL with a focus on the difference in quarterback play from player to player. Newton riled fans up when he labeled some game managers and others game changers, and the fans of the quarterbacks labeled as game managers took offense to the former MVP's opinion.
The clip from his show was then picked up by nearly every sports media outlet and went viral on Twitter/X with most believing the term had a negative connotation to it, mainly because it's a term they've put on a guy like Tom Brady for years now in an attempt to discredit his talent.
It got so out of control that even those on top networks began covering the story, but instead of sharing their differing opinions, most chose to insult and belittle Newton personally. It became a discussion about him "never being a good player" and claiming he sounded like a "troll on social media," telling a female sportscaster to get back into the kitchen.
It progressed into bashing his fashion choices, the fact he's no longer in the NFL, and even discrediting his entire football resume, all over an opinion he chose to share when talking about football.
Although Newton seems not to have taken it all personally, he did respond in a lengthy video posted to his social media channels to explain his take further while also calling out those who chose to go down a disrespectful route in response.
He doubled down on that assertion this week while appearing on Audacy’s V-103 Hip-Hop station in Atlanta with Brandon Marshall to promote their upcoming show as part of the “I Am iConic – Live Tour.”
"The thing that I don’t appreciate is when they don’t agree with you, they try to attack your character. They try to attack you as the person. I had an opinion that got blown into proportion: ‘ Why is he dressing like that? Isn’t this the same person that had had a bad keeper?’ That’s not the point. The point is that I’ve said something that if anybody can speak on that, it should be me….So how dare you, you know, come after the person who I am by saying, ‘Oh, this is something that Cam Newton was never able to do.’"
Newton highlights a repeated issue in the sports media world, whether just a discussion amongst friends or those paid millions of dollars to speak on a show for an hour every day on a major network. They decide to speak down on players when discussing their most recent performances or comments they made post-game etc., rather than keeping it professional and only talking about the facts.
It has become commonplace now, and for the most part, it's because audiences eat it up. People love controversy. They love to hear someone trash-talking another person, especially someone rich and famous, hence why they continue to do so.
But why is it becoming normalized?
If any random person spoke like that about their co-workers or those they have to work with in a professional setting, they would be fired. So why do these people get a pass for essentially being bullies on national television?
The sad part is that this isn't anything new for a guy like Newton. It has been an issue throughout his entire football career. Most of the time, it wasn't about how he played on the field; it was about his clothing, hairstyle, confidence, and more. And when they would bring up his career, they'd gloss over all the incredible things he accomplished from his days in college to his 11 years in the NFL.
Maybe they feel comfortable talking shots at the quarterback because so many others have done it before them. Plus, they're never reprimanded for their attitudes or words despite it being displayed all over televisions across the country.
There needs to be a way for this to stop and have analysts/reporters get back to doing the job they were hired to do, which is to talk about what they're seeing on the field. There's no need for personal attacks. Stick to the news and quit the shenanigans just because it gets clicks.