Cam Newton is literally, and figuratively, a loser.
He lost the Super Bowl and then acted like a child in the post-game press conference. I saw a Facebook post defending him today that basically says that he works hard and has drive, and if you don’t understand why he acted that way, you must be an unmotivated bum.
Well, maybe I am, but that’s a ridiculous defense of a grown man. I’ve been so worked up about it all day that I decided I had to write about it, if only for my own sanity.
If you want to talk about hard work, let’s talk about people raising children on minimum wage or single parents shelling out $972 a month for daycare. Cam Newton plays a game for a living and makes more money in one year than most people will see in a lifetime. If he loses the Super Bowl, that is too damn bad: I’m not crying for him.
— NFL (@NFL) February 8, 2016
I could write for days on why treating athletes and celebrities like gods is detrimental to society (and to my soul) but I won’t. I’ll just make this point and be done. (Maybe.) Cam Newton is one of the most privileged men in America. He’s been flying on private jets since he was a freshman in college and he has a platform to reach millions of people via national television every single week. He’s 26 years old and he’s worth $32 million.
The argument that “he’s heartbroken” or “he worked hard and his dream was crushed” is just BS. People’s dreams are crushed every single day, and they don’t mope around about it. 21,000 people literally die of starvation every day! Meanwhile, Cam Newton is sitting in his cushy $2 million apartment crying into his $118.5 million contract because he lost a game. Boohoo.
I understand that he’s heartbroken, disappointed, even pissed off. I would be too. But there is a way to handle yourself, and refusing to actually answer questions then storming off isn’t it.
What are we teaching our kids? The kids that wear his jerseys and scream his name and pretend to be him when they play flag football in the backyard? “Be a good sport and treat everyone with respect. Unless you try really hard and you lose. Then you can be a poor sport.” Or how about “If you win all of your games, you can dance around and talk trash and treat other people like they’re inferior to you.”
I just think it’s pathetic. I think his behavior was embarrassing, and I think defending and excusing him is just as bad, if not worse. And don’t even try to cry wolf that I’m only saying this about him because I’m a Ravens fan: I said the same thing about Manny Machado throwing a baseball bat at Josh Donaldson. (Because WTF, who does that?!)
I’m not saying that he should be smiling and laughing and pretending like he isn’t crushed. I’m saying that even though he is crushed, he should have some class. Giving footballs to kids when you’ve got a 14-0 record doesn’t make you a leader. Losing gracefully does.
Don’t ask for media attention and accolades when you win but not when you lose. It isn’t a one way street. Saying he shouldn’t have to talk to the media after the Super Bowl is like saying the president shouldn’t have to talk to the media after a national disaster. It’s not pretty, it’s not fun, and it’s not enjoyable, but it’s part of the job.
If you don’t want the bad, Cam, you can’t have the good. It’s as simple as that.