Cam Newton

Cam Newton Walks Out Of Post-Super Bowl Press Conference After Panthers Loss

Cam Newton walked out of a press conference last night following the Panthers 10-24 loss to the Broncos in Super Bowl 50. Check out the video below.

Ralph Valchchiano of the New York Daily News describes Newton’s behavior as disappointing and a failure to show leadership.

“And it wasn’t just his play, either — though he was ineffective, jittery and clearly rattled by the Denver Broncos defense throughout the Carolina Panthers’ 24-10 loss. The worst of his performance came afterward, when Newton — the leader of the NFC champs, the NFL MVP and a player who might just be the face of the league’s future — bolted from his postgame press conference almost without talking at all.”

Cam was definitely off his game yesterday, but no one is seeing that as justification for walking out of the press conference. He completed only 18 of his 21 passes in a game the Panthers lost against a team with an outstanding defense. Add to that the fact that of 41 passes Newton made yesterday, he completed only 18, and there’s no doubt his performance was not what he and Panthers fans had hoped for. When asked about the game, Cam provided mostly one-word answers, no eye contact, and blank stares. Most players have something complimentary to say about the other team following a loss, a practice that’s considered good sportsmanship, but Cam didn’t have much, good or bad, to say about the Broncos. Here is the longest answer Newton gave in the press conference.

“They just played better than us. I don’t know what you want me to say. They made more plays than us and that’s what it came down to. We had our opportunities. There wasn’t nothing special that they did. We dropped balls. We turned the ball over, gave up sacks, threw errant passes. That’s it. They scored more points than we did.”

Cam Newton has his share of haters, and stated at another recent press conference that he thinks it’s because of his color. Last night, Maurice Barksdale of Fansided said that, although there are surely people who do hate Newton for this reason, he doesn’t believe it’s the basis for most people’s unfavorable opinion of Cam. He thinks it’s his arrogance, an opinion that has been widely voiced elsewhere. Touchdown celebrations that go beyond the typical end-zone dance, Newton has been known to carry on celebrations on the sidelines from one end of the field to the other or to flex like Hulk Hogan while the Panthers’ opponent is on the field competing. It’s viewed as poor sportsmanship from Newton, rubbing his team’s success in the face of their opponent, and it doesn’t sit well with a lot of people.

Even many Cam Newton fans are disappointed in his behavior last night. While no one can blame Newton for being upset about his team’s loss, many are saying this was his time to shine and show the professionalism his teammates showed in the press conference. They’re saying the press conference was the chance for Newton to lead as a quarterback is supposed to do for his team. He missed that chance.

In an article by Bill Reiter of CBS Sports this morning, Reiter tries to put Cam’s press conference behavior in perspective. He cites other great quarterbacks who lost Super Bowls. People like Peyton Manning and Jim Kelly, who were crushed, like Newton, by Super Bowl losses but accepted defeat with grace. Reiter cautions people against jumping from what he views as a valid assessment that Newton’s behavior was unacceptable to him being a bad person. Great quarterbacks have bad games. Great players of any sport have bad games. And Cam isn’t the first to show a less-than-professional response to loss. But, Reiter says, most of those people realize they acted inappropriately and turn things around. Reiter says that as unacceptable as Cam Newton’s press conference behavior was last night, it’s Cam’s behavior today and in the future that will really show his true character.

[Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]