Free agent Cam Newton made it clear that he didn’t want his supporters to “feel sorry” for him. Last month, the 32-year-old penned “#IMGOOD” on Instagram shortly after reports revealed that the New England Patriots had released the three-time Pro Bowl player, making way for rookie Mac Jones to be the starting quarterback.
“Did it catch me by surprise being released? Absolutely,” the football player admitted in a recent YouTube Live video, during which the Atlanta native sat down with his father, Cecil, on the football field at Newton’s high school alma mater, Westlake High School. The video was published to Newton’s YouTube page, titled “My Side Of The Story’ FÜNKY FRIDÂ¥’ With Cam Newton.”
The veteran quarterback told his father he highly doubted that his COVID-19 protocol incident in August was the driving force behind being cut from the squad. “During that time, I started seeing signs of change. … Do I think this would have happened without me being away from the team for five days? Honestly, yes. It was going to happen. Did it help ease the decision? Yes.”
Instead, the Auburn University alum believes his presence would’ve caused a commotion, telling his father, “The reason they released me is because, indirectly, I was going to be a distraction without being the starter.”
He continued, “Just my aura … That’s my gift and my curse. When you bring a Cam Newton to your facility, when you bring a Cam Newton to your franchise, people are interested by mere fact of ‘Who is he? Why does he wear his hair? Why does he talk? Why does he act? Why does he perform?’ All these questions.”
“Let me be honest with you. If they would have asked me, ‘Cam, we’re going to give the team to Mac, you’re going to be second string; we expect you to be everything and some to guide him throughout this tenure,’ I would have said, ‘Absolutely,’” Newton said. “But listen, the truth of the matter is this: He would have been uncomfortable.”
Many critics online have speculated Newton’s assumed hesitancy to receive the COVID vaccine may have played a more significant role in getting the athlete dropped from the team than he may want to believe. Newton was one of a few players who tested positive for the coronavirus last year.
“Gettting paid millions of bucks not to follow guidelines set by the NFL is what got this man cut. If you can’t follow directions they don’t want you,” wrote one Twitter user.
This week the NFL reported that roughly 93 percent of players had received at least one dose of the shot. It’s still unknown whether Newton has or will get a shot. Check out the full discussion between Newton and his dad down below.