Cam Newton sparked rumors that he could be gay, with the NFL quarterback tweeting a poem about gay pride this weekend that set the rumor mill churning.
The NFL MVP posted lyrics to the poem “Living In The Shadows” by Gloria Carter (rapper Jay Z’s mother). Many took that as Cam Newton’s announcement that he is gay and out of the closet, Rolling Out noted, especially as the quarterback linked the lyrics to a picture of himself with a beaming smile during a press conference.
The poem deals with the burdens of not living openly with one’s sexuality and the freedom that comes with deciding to come out.
“Living in the shadow feels like the safe place to be
No harm for them, no harm for me
But life is short, and it’s time to be free
Love who you love, because life isn’t guaranteed.”
The post generated an enormous response from fans, with more than 80,000 likes and hundreds of comments. Many of those who responded were supportive of Newton, whether he was coming out as gay or just expressing his alliance with those who are gay.
But there is no evidence to support the rumor that Cam Newton is gay, and it appears that some of the gossip outlets pushing the story may be using it as a smear against the Pro-Bowl quarterback. One site photoshopped a picture of Newton into a ballerina tutu, and others on social media used offensive language and gay slurs to describe him.
The post did not seem out of character, as Cam Newton has been a vocal ally of the LGBT community in the past. In 2014, when openly gay defensive end Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, Newton was supportive of his efforts to become the first openly gay player in the NFL.
According to Outsports, both Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick stood up for Michael Sam and said they would welcome him as a teammate. Newton said the ultimate measure of a teammate is their ability on the field, saying, “if you’re helping us attain that winning success, your personal life is your personal life.”
But if Cam Newton were coming out as gay with his Instagram post, he would be the first active NFL player to do so. There have been a handful of players to come out after retiring from the league and rumors two years ago that a group of players was planning on coming out at the same time, but it has not yet come to pass.
[Featured Image by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Buick]