Cam Newton catches a ton of flack for his celebration on the football field. Most fans want Newton to “act like he’s been there before” or to “show some class” when he makes a big play. People also criticized Newton for the way he answered questions from the media following the Carolina Panthers’ 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 51.
While Cam gets plenty of negative attention, it’s rare that Newton’s critics will acknowledge the type of person he really is off of the field. Cam is one of the most giving athletes in the professional sports world, the casual fan just may not be aware of it because Newton doesn’t go out of his way looking for attention for his charitable ways.
For example, last Wednesday night, the Panthers were in Baltimore to play the Ravens in the team’s preseason opener on Thursday night. Newton and a few of his teammates went out to dinner at a place called Sullivan’s at the Baltimore Inner Harbor. Cam left the restaurant carrying two bags of food and calmly handed one of the bags to a homeless man sitting on the ground with a sign that read, “Homeless Please help hungry — food.”
You might not be a fan of Cam Newton’s on-field antics, but it’s impossible not to applaud the QB for this.https://t.co/hUd124W6gl
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) August 15, 2016
ESPN staff writer David Newton interviewed the woman that witnessed the exchange and Candace Gregory was so impressed with what she had seen.
“People talk about him dabbing and all the stuff that in my mind ultimately should be irrelevant, because that doesn’t get to the heart of who he is,” Candace said of Cam Newton.
“I once saw him give something to a disabled child at a practice and people were like, ‘Oh, it’s a photo opportunity.’ But this was when nobody was looking. That’s why we shared it, because character is what you do when nobody is looking.”
Panthers third-string quarterback Joe Webb told David Newton that this sort of thing is normal for Cam. Webb, who was with Cam at Sullivan’s, said that his teammate will often order an entire to-go meal if he knows there’s someone around that needs food. Webb also said that Cam will plan outings with his teammates just to deliver food to the homeless
“It’s like second nature for him,” said Webb. “It’s no surprise that he did it. A lot of people say, ‘What are you doing when people aren’t looking?’ It speaks volumes that he’s a great person.”
— Langston Wertz Jr. (@langstonwertzjr) August 15, 2016
Candace said that Newton didn’t stick around to talk to the man or try and bring a lot of attention to himself. Cam just gave the man the bag and kept on walking.
“They were walking in a group and he slid over, gave the guy the bag and kept moving,” Candace said. “It was a quick, smooth motion, like he was handing the ball off to a running back.
“He didn’t linger. He didn’t talk to the guy. You could tell he was trying to be discreet about it.”
This is just one instance that happened to be caught by some fans. Newton also has his own foundation called, the Cam Newton Foundation, which gives the children of Charlotte anything from a Thanksgiving meal to Christmas presents to money for school, basically anything they need. Cam also has held a charity kickball tournament to raise money for his foundation and filmed a show for Nickelodeon that helps kids achieve their dreams.
So the next time you feel like you want to call Cam Newton names or criticize him for having fun out on the football field, remember that you’re really just judging a book by its cover and not the integrity of the man on the inside.
[Photo via Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]