Cam Newton is not here for the disrespect. And neither is the social media landscape, which promptly called out a clicks-happy kid who squandered an opportunity to improve on his talents.
A player at the NFA 7v7 East Regional held at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, this weekend set up a made-for-social trash-talking moment with the New England Patriots quarterback. The video began to circulate on Sunday with viewers noting the disrespect of the teenager and how well Newton handled the episode.
Newton, youth player address 'trash-talking' video
The young football player calls out to Newton, telling him he's poor since he's about to become a free agent. The quarterback, who was walking by the sidelines, comes back and responds with "I'm rich." He then asks where his father is at to speak with him.
Cam got a little triggered 👀 pic.twitter.com/D7MZkLdorg
— Justin Ramos (@patriotsnews247) February 21, 2021
Newton later responded to the interaction on Instagram, explaining why he asked about the boy's father and his motivation to participate in the football camp. The post also included extended video of Newton's interaction with the young player.
"Instead of speaking or going back and forth with a child, I wanted to have a man to man conversation with his father!!" Newton wrote. … The truth is this. I impact kids’ lives in a positive way, make no mistake about it."
The player, Jseth Owens, later wrote an apology to share on social media late Sunday. He directed it to Newton and everyone in his organization, writing he "did not intend for it to get as far as it did!"
"As a football player I let my competitive side get the best of me & it was a huge miscommunication," he wrote. "It was in the midst of the moment & I realize now how a lot of you took it as disrespect. I never meant to humiliate & let anyone down."
— jseth owens (@jsethowens_5) February 22, 2021
Newton is currently No. 15 on Spotrac's active players list in all-time earnings. The former Heisman winner has made more than $122 million in contract money since being drafted No. 1 the 2011 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers. He signed a one-year deal with the Patriots last offseason that was worth up to $7.5 million and will become a free-agent in March unless he re-signs.
That income doesn't include earnings from sponsorship and partnership deals with companies that include Under Armour, Gatorade and Downy. Per Forbes, he made approximately $5.5 million in endorsements alone in 2020.
Surely, those aren't poor-man numbers. And even if they were, even if Newton had blown all his money and made headlines for it, it's not cool to yell it at the guy for it with peers holding up phones to capture and share. That's the lowest of the low no matter how it's cut. Not to mention this particular target is taking time out of his offseason and family life to help the next group of football stars behind him.
Newton is at the camp because his Cam Newton Foundation sponsors teams participating in the competition. He takes a hands-on approach to the teams and was in the huddle with them throughout the weekend.
Twitter reacts to Newton being 'trash-talked'
The interaction between Newton and a player, whose team is not clear but presumably wouldn't be on a Newton team, began to make its way through the Twitter-sphere on Sunday.
It was overwhelmingly poor for the player, who appeared to want to go viral but instead is a teenager who made a bad name for himself in the eyes of social media users.
Probably should ask him how to be a MVP in the league you probably wanna play in first.. 😂🤦🏽♂️ Smh https://t.co/QHj0hYgw1X
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) February 21, 2021
Imagine getting close enough to talk to Cam Newton at a football camp and you squander it like this https://t.co/bDMOQj6NJY
— Jasmine (@JasmineLWatkins) February 21, 2021
These kids are wild. Instead of asking a former MVP and a dude that made $100 million for advice they’re trying to go viral. I’m sure my take makes me old or soft though. 🤷🏽♂️ https://t.co/vG2c8sa3AC
— Irv Roland (@irv_roland) February 21, 2021
You’re really going to go after Cam Newton like this?!?? People would dream to have the career he has and all you want to do is call him a ‘Free Agent?’ Foh. https://t.co/VuHSmDDWB4
— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) February 21, 2021
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