CHARLOTTE — Cam Newton took a stand Tuesday on police brutality and racial tensions in America, but it was a very neutral stand.
“It’s just something that we all have to be held accountable. When is enough enough?” Newton said a day after another police shooting of an African-American man, this one in Charlotte where Newton plays for the Carolina Panthers.
“In my sport and my life, if I’m not held accountable, there is (backup quarterbacks) Derek Anderson and Joe Webb. But people are dying and in some cases, it’s innocence and another incident it was a threat to the police officer. Who am I to just sit up here and make a specific judgment. That’s why I don’t …
“It’s embarrassing for things to keep happening. … My my big thing is holding people accountable, no matter what the race is, no matter what the gender is, no matter what the age is, we all have to hold each other accountable.”
Newton also said he supports Colin Kaepernick, who has protested police brutality and racial injustice by sitting and kneeling during the national anthem, but emphasized that he chooses to take a stand in his own way.
“I salute Colin Kaepernick for what he stands for but at the end of the day, I also can make a stand in my own right,” Newton said. “That’s why I have a foundation and I’ve been trying to do any and everything to bring the city of Charlotte or wherever I am around (together) and impact it in a positive way.”
Newton was clear that he intends to choose his words carefully on such a controversial and divisive topic.
“The place that I stand, sometimes it’s lose-lose,” he said. “You say something in one sentence and everybody is saying you are a traitor and you say something in another sentence and, ‘Oh, he’s just too real. You can’t necessarily say that.’ So I’m in a position now where it’s like, if I say something it’s going to be critiqued and if I don’t say something, ‘Oh, you are fake, you are flawed.’ I’m a firm believer in justice and of doing the right thing and I can’t repeat it enough of holding people accountable.
“I’m an African-American and I am not happy with how justice has been dealt with over the years, the state of oppression in our community, but we also as black people have to do right by ourselves. We can’t be hypocrites. …”