Cam Newton has responded to criticism of a post Super Bowl press conference he gave that managed to make the average athlete interview sound like the Gettysburg Address.
Newton’s answers were barely audible after the Carolina Panthers lost to the Denver Broncos, and he left the press conference after just three minutes. Newton’s conduct attracted plenty of ire – as well as support – and on Tuesday he refused to apologise. “I’m on record as being a sore loser,” he told the Charlotte Observer. “I hate losing. You show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.”
The Panthers general manager, Dave Gettleman, agreed with that sentiment. “I want players that hate to lose,” he said. “I want the buses to be late for the airport.”
Ron Rivera, the Panthers head coach, took a different line, although he did not condemn his quarterback. “Do I wish Cam would’ve handled it differently? Yes. But that’s who he is. He hates to lose.”
Newton added that he wasn’t worried if he had offended anyone, and the incident had attracted too much attention – indeed, it has been pointed out that Newton may have looked angry because he was in earshot of a Broncos player in jubilant mood after Denver’s victory. “I’ve got no more tears to cry,’’ Newton said. “I’ve obviously had a lot of time to think about it. I’ve seen so much blown out of proportion.”
This year’s NFL MVP added that he would not modify his behaviour in future. “This is a great league with or without me. I am my own person. I said it since day one,” he said. “I am who I am. I know what I’m capable of and I know where I’m going. I don’t have to conform to anybody else’s wants for me to do. I’m not that guy.”
Newton also responded to criticism that he did not dive on a fumble in the fourth quarter, saying “the way my leg was – it could have been [twisted and caused injury].” As for the future, Newton is confident Sunday will not be his last Super Bowl interview: “We will be back, and I mean that, we will be back,” Newton said. “I say that with so much emphasis.”