We don’t know what we want from our athletes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a guy at a bar, or a caller on talk radio, whine that athletes just don’t care anymore. Some even have the audacity to say that “they” care more about their team’s fate than the athletes, which comprise the team. Colin Kaepernick didn’t help matters recently, when he was recently spotted wearing a Miami Dolphins cap. It wasn’t the smartest choice on Kaepernick’s part for several reasons. Now, Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton finds himself embroiled in a similar controversy.
Newton, speaking at his foundation’s “Fun Day” at a YMCA in southwest Atlanta, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he still pulls for the Atlanta Falcons when he’s not playing them.
“It’s always a heavily critiqued game,” Newton said of the Falcons-Panthers divisional matchup. “I’ve always been a Falcons fan, and I’m still a Falcons fan except for those two times a year.
Athletes don’t live in a vacuum; they have to be introduced to the game. In 2001, his hometown team drafted Michael Vick, I can’t imagine what young man in the Atlanta area, wasn’t a fan of Vick at the time. Newton’s fandom didn’t end the day the Panthers drafted him. I’m sure a few talking heads (ahem Skip Bayless) and Twitter trolls will attempt to make an issue out of this. It’s summertime and they have to find something to occupy their time. I find it refreshing, Newton loves the game, in his heart he’s still the little boy that first fell in love with the game, Unless Newton starts playing like Michael Vick, Carolina Panthers fans have nothing to worry about.