Cam Newton believes he’s between a rock and a hard place when it comes to commenting on issues of social justice.
The reigning MVP frequently has been asked to give his opinion on civil unrest regarding police brutality, especially in the wake of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s ongoing protest during the national anthem.
Following Tuesday’s police shooting of a 43-year-old African-American man in Charlotte, the Carolina Panthers quarterback commented on his personal quandary.
“The place that I stand, sometimes it’s a lose-lose (situation),” Newton explained at a news conference Wednesday. “You say something in one sense and everybody is saying ‘you’re a traitor.’ You say something in another sense and 'oh, he’s just too real.’
“ … I’m in a position now where it’s like, if I say something, it’s going to be critiqued. And if I don’t say something, ‘oh, you fake.’ … I’m a firm believer of justice. I’m a firm believer of doing the right thing. And I can’t repeat it enough; of just holding people accountable. I’m an African-American. I am not happy with how justice has kind of been dealt with over the years -- the state of oppression in our community.”
Newton has been hesitant to speak out on matters of race and social justice in the past. But he fielded several questions on Wednesday with the death of Keith Lamont Scott hitting close to home.
“When you get a person that does some unjust things or killing an innocent person; killing fathers; killing people who have actual families.” Newton said. “That’s real. Like, I have a son. How would it be and the daughter that I’m responsible for?
“How would it be if one day they come home and there’s no more daddy? And it’s not like OK, well you can get a (monetary) settlement. Money doesn’t matter in that sense. You need people to be held accountable. And that’s all.”