(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) – Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton says race is a big reason why so many are critical of him.
Newton was asked on Wednesday why he receives more criticism than other athletes. Newton said, “I said it since Day One, you know, I’m an African-American quarterback. That may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to.”
Newton said, “It’s me. Nobody changed me, nobody made me act a certain type of way, and I’m true to my roots.”
Newton accounted for 45 touchdowns this season for the Panthers, but was questioned by some fans and media members for his exuberant end zone dances.
Head coach Ron Rivera also weighed in, saying, “You know, I’m kind of in the same boat, some people want to tag me as a Hispanic head coach, well that’s great. But the truth of the matter is, I just want to be tagged as a head coach. Because it really should be about your merit,” Rivera said.
The Panthers are appearing in only their second Super Bowl, where they will take on the Broncos on February 7th.