NFL Players React to Viral Cam Newton Video

Cam Newton

Getty Cam Newton

By now, you’ve likely seen the viral video of a teenager heckling Cam Newton at a 7-on-7 tournament at Newton’s youth football camp on Sunday in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

While respect for Newton is not universal, many NFL players came to the 31-year-old’s defense and had comments about the video as it spread on social media.

Many viewers felt the video was shameful on the part of the teenager, Jseth Owens, who repeatedly mentioned Newton’s free-agent status and said he’s “about to be poor.” And while Newton’s epic “I’m rich” response has drawn some criticism, the 2015 NFL MVP exhibited self-control in a highly disrespectful situation.

Newton later posted an extended video to show the full context of the interaction, while Owens on Monday issued an apology on Twitter, saying in part, “I let my competitive side get the best of me & it was a huge miscommunication.”

Unfortunately, this whole thing was arguably the biggest story on a slow Sunday in sports. Because of the story’s viral nature, many NFL players and Newton’s teammates with the New England Patriots chimed in on the subject.

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Some Commenters Said the Teen Should Have Been Tossed From the Tournament

After the video started going viral on February 21, SportsCenter tweeted, “Cam Newton deserves his respect,” along with a list of his accolades, including a Heisman Trophy, College Football National Championship, NFL MVP award and more.

A couple of former NFL players, including Hall of Famer and current FOX Sports host Shannon Sharpe, expressed that the teen crossed a line that should have resulted in being thrown out of Newton’s tournament.

From modern-day stars like Darius Slay to highly respected former players such as Kyle Long, the football community took exception to what occurred over the weekend.

Even ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Louis Riddick — a former NFL player, front office executive and one of the most respected minds in the sport — jumped in to urge onlookers to “turn the tide” on disrespect.

Some attempted to find fault in Newton’s initial approach. Still, most people batted down those erroneous insinuations. Many people on social media appeared to admire the quarterback’s restraint and were sickened by the kid’s actions.

Newton’s response only further shifted the opinion of the public in his favor. That’s something he’s probably not used to these days, considering he seems to be the favorite target for some members of the media and the fans they influence.

Latest Info on Newton’s Status for 2021

Newton will officially become a free agent next month. At this point, it is unclear where he will land. Recent speculation suggests that Newton will return to the Patriots for a second season with the team.

If Newton does re-up with the Patriots, it will be huge news, and it is likely to kick off some of the most spirited debates you’ll see and hear this year. The Patriots do have other options.

There is talk the team could trade for the San Francisco 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo or the Las Vegas Raiders’ Marcus Mariota. New England could also look to other potential free agents like Jameis Winston, Mitchell Trubisky, or even Ryan Fitzpatrick. As of now, the only quarterbacks the Patriots have under contract are Jarrett Stidham and Jake Dolegala. Neither appears to be a realistic option to succeed Newton as the team’s starter.

Just as the Patriots have options, Newton does as well. The Washington Football Team, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, and New Orleans Saints could be in the market for a veteran quarterback.

After signing with the Patriots late in the offseason, Newton has vowed not to make the same mistake this time around. He has said he believes signing with the Patriots late and catching COVID severely derailed his season.

If the Patriots also believe Newton can improve over what he showed last season, there is every reason to think a return is still possible.

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