“I Put Myself In A F***ed-Up Situation” | Cam Newton Falls In And Out Of Love With Football

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MAY 07: NFL player Cam Newton watches an undercard race before the running of the 148th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 07, 2022 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Gunnar Word/Getty Images)

Cam Newton still wants to play professional football at the highest level, and although that is supposed to be a well-known fact, according to Newton, he was ready to throw in the towel at some point.

“I was prepared to not play football, honestly, when the [Carolina] Panthers cut me the first time before I ever went to New England,” said Newton on the most recent episode of “The Pivot” podcast.

Carolina released Newton after nine seasons before he joined the New England Patriots in 2020, only to return to Carolina last season. Newton’s passion for the game reinvigorated during his second time around with Carolina.

The Hunger For More

“My desire has not died. When I walked out of that tunnel last year for the Panthers, I was just like, ‘I’m not ready to give this up.’ That desire will never leave.”

Newton kept it real about a deeply personal situation, having a child outside of his relationship with his longtime girlfriend. It forced him to adjust his perspective.

“People in high power make humanistic mistakes,” Newton continued. “I can honestly say that I made a humanistic mistake. With my kids now it’s like, if I’m not ‘Superman’ to them, then I’ll be damned if the rest of the world will call me ‘Superman.’ It is embarrassing to talk about, that situation molded me. I just stopped caring what people thought about it.”

However, regardless of the past and how it affected his athletic performance, Newton still believes that he should still be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

On My Soul

“There still aren’t 32 guys better than me,” Newton continued. “On my soul, at the end of the day, comparing apples to apples and situations to situations, if you don’t think I could be on a team right now, you’re a damn fool.”

“I’m not about to sit up here and speak on what I didn’t have, I just accepted the challenge. I shouldn’t have put myself into a situation where I thought that me by myself was enough.”

The quarterback position is not for unapologetically black men who are not elite players. – Ryan Clark.

Newton takes responsibility for putting himself into those difficult situations in New England and Carolina.

The Struggle Is Real

“My own worst enemy will always be me,” said Newton. “I’ve jumped into some f**ked-up situations. This is my acknowledging that I’ll own up to that. In New England, I was still learning the offense seven or eight weeks into the season, it was just brain overload, but I put myself in that situation.

“In Carolina, I put myself into another f**ked up situation. I signed on Thursday and was playing on Sunday. The next week, I started and I was still trying to learn the offense. Before I allow the narrative to be made that I don’t have it anymore, I’m just saying that I put myself in a f**ked-up situation. That had a ricochet effect toward how people think of me.”

Newton also didn’t shy away from his gender roles comments, which were deemed controversial, and maintained that he would never conform to the mainstream due to his unique status as the people’s quarterback.

The Non-Conformist

“I’m not going to conform to nothing, because when I have nothing else, I’m going to need my people to stand up for me,” said Newton. “I saw myself as more valuable than Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning, not because of talent, but because I could go into their communities, but they could never go into mine.”

In the end, Cam Newton understands what he represents as a Black quarterback, and whether he plays again in the NFL or not, he believes he is forging a unique legacy.

“Frank Sinatra said it best: ‘I did it my way,'” said Newton. “There’s a lot of young Cams out there. There’s a lot of impact that I’ve made. I don’t even need the credit. I know that I’m doing it right. If you can say that, your impact has been conquered. I always ask people, what’s more important, championships or impact?”

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.