Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is regularly criticized for his touchdown celebrations, which is peculiar because he’s one of hundreds of players who, you know, celebrate after a touchdown. One Tennessee mother even wrote Newton an open letter, noting the “chest puffs … pelvic thrusts … and the ‘in your face’ taunting of Titans players and fans” as problematic.
Recently in a press conference before Superbowl 50, Newton was asked why he seems to be the target of this criticism. His response was very interesting to say the least.
“I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to,” Newton said Wednesday, via Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer. “Whether you win, lose or draw, people are going to talk. Now the true fans — they know what’s up. They’re going to be supportive whatever happens. … But people are going to judge and have their own opinion on certain things that I don’t have control over nor does anybody else. It’s like, here I am, I’m doing exactly what I want to do, how I want to do it,” Newton said. “When I look in the mirror, it’s me. Nobody changed me. Nobody made me act a certain type of way and I’m true to my roots. It feels great, but yet, people are going to say whatever they want to say. And if I’m in this world living for that person — ‘Oh, this person is going to say this, this person is going to say that’ — then I can’t look at myself and say I’m Cam Newton, or I’m Cameron Newton to most people. Because I’m not, because I’m living for you.”
Newton’s comments target a polarizing issue that exists in our world today. Too many people are too worried and concerned with what others think about them. Too many of us fall into the trap of trying to please others. Too many of us try to fit the mold that we are told we are supposed to fit.
We live in a cookie cutter society. We can’t be individuals anymore because we get criticized for being anything other than the norm. We miss out on our own happiness seeking to make everyone else happy.
We need more Cameron Newtons. We need more people who aren’t ashamed to be who they are. We need more people who have the courage to stand for what they believe. We need more people who don’t care about what the critics may say about them. Our world would be a lot better off for it.