Cam Newton had a tough week in the court of public opinion, but he tried to make some silent amends before Sunday’s game.
On the heels of his unfortunate comments about a female reporter “talking about routes” during his media availability on Wednesday, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton lost a major sponsor, took criticism from a lot of angles and issued an apology on social media. With all of that to serve as distractions, it’s worth wondering how he’ll play on Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
Newton is coming off one of the best games of his career in Week 4 against the New England Patriots. But his track record after great performances suggests he is in line for a particularly bad game this week, with or without any off-field concerns.
Newton always draws attention for what he wears, and Sunday as he arrived at Ford Field was no different.
Newton sported a Rosie the Riveter pin on his hat as he walked into the stadium. Rosie the Riveter was a symbol of women doing their part for the war effort during World War II and has become a symbol of feminism and the economic empowerment, so the message Newton was trying to send is clear.
Then, during pre-game warmups, Newton wore cleats honoring the victims of the shooting in Las Vegas.
There may be no American pro athlete, and surely no NFL player, who cares more about his public perception than Newton. That desire to be liked can be a double-edged sword though, and Newton ultimately shows who he is when tough situations arise or criticism comes.
The cleats honoring the Vegas shooting victims is not a well-placed ploy, since that gesture is not unique to Newton around the NFL this week. But the Rosie the Riveter pin on his hat feels like a calculated move by Newton, inviting skepticism about how genuine it is, with full knowledge there would be a camera on him as he walked into Ford Field.