Full disclosure here, I am a ride or die Denver Broncos fan. So I was definitely watching last night’s game hoping Cam Newton would lose and I got my wish. However, I was hoping to see him lose with class. I wanted him to prove everyone wrong about his attitude. I think he has been judged harsher than other quarterbacks because he is African-American, and no of course that is not fair. He should not have to live up to a higher standard than everyone else in his same position. But he should be expected to act with professionalism, as should every other team leader. Last night I wanted him to emerge as a humble professional who could be the emotional leader of his team. But that didn’t happen.
For the record I don't mind his cocky antics during the games, I love the dabs, I think the flash and personality is what makes him unique. To me it shows passion, adrenaline, and his love for the game. I also have no doubt that if I was born with the physical gifts that he has I too would think I was god's gift to sport. But that doesn't excuse his post game behavior. Now I saw him shake hands with Peyton on the field and he was even smiling, but somewhere between that moment and his time at the press conference his mood changed significantly.
We’ve seen many players lose with grace, fight back tears at that podium while still doing their job of speaking with the media. In fact, 2 of Cam Newton’s teammates, Josh Norman and Luke Kuechly, showed up for their post game press conference like professionals. Dressed in suits, visibly upset, but still showed class and leadership for their teammates.
I love this point my friend Rick Brewer made on Facebook, and I agree 100%.
Yes this man is 26 years old, which someone people will argue as an excuse for his behavior. But let's be serious, 26 is a grown ass man. He is also a father and the leader of a team of 50+ grown men. Let's not forget that he is also paid millions of dollars to represent himself, his team and his organization like a leader. He let them all down.
I will also add that Cam Newton is not the only one who behaved badly. The Broncos defensive star Aqib Talib also made a pretty tasteless comment and showed classlessness on the winning side. His quote is in the image to the right. In addition to this he also cost the Broncos a lot of yards in the first half of the game for classless plays on the field. He needs to learn what it means to be a humble winner and should take some lessons from teammates like DeMarcus Ware (my current crush;), Demaryius Thomas and Peyton Manning.
I hope parents and coaches will use this an example to teach their kids how to act when they win or lose. Each of us is going to experience disappointment in life and we will be judged by how we react to that failure. Judged at the same level as Cam? No, but that comes along with being a public figure. No one is perfect all the time and yes when you are on a big stage you get judged by different standards. But truly I hope Cam turns this experience into something positive. He is going to have a long and hugely successful career in football. He is a superstar. I hope he takes the off-season to learn from the greats who have come before him and changes his approach as a leader in victory and in defeat.