Dating back to his college days, Cam Newton has always been one to express himself freely. His dynamic personality, along with his rare athletic skills, has made him one of the NFL’s biggest stars. In essence, when Newton speaks, everyone listens intently. On Wednesday, the New England Patriots quarterback sent a powerful message about the Jacob Blake shooting that has captivated the nation’s attention.
Cam Newton has never been afraid to speak his mind
Cam Newton has built such a loyal following due in large part to his engaging personality. Few NFL players possess his ability to captivate attention from fans, teammates, and even opposing players and coaches. Newton routinely posts on social media and typically provides interesting insight on different topics.
When it comes to social justice matters, the veteran quarterback has been careful with his words. However, he did make it a point to praise Colin Kaepernick back in 2017 in The Charlotte Observer for Kaepernick’s actions that spurred a movement that continues to grow today.
“My hat goes off to the Colin Kaepernicks of the world,” Newton said. “He’s made the ultimate sacrifice (as a player) and I respect that wholeheartedly. I can’t let a moment go by without shedding light to that: A person that does have the talent to play, a person that should be in this league, but I feel as if he’s not getting his just due because of his views.”
Newton went so far as to call Kaepernick a “legend” for raising awareness about police brutality and racial inequality.
Fast forward to 2020 and those issues still persist. And just recently, another victim of police brutality has sparked emotional responses from athletes and many other people across the nation.
Newton sends a powerful message about the Jacob Blake shooting
With the Patriots in the midst of training camp, Cam Newton has a ton of responsibilities on his plate. He has to acclimate to a new program, a new offense, a new coaching staff, and new teammates. As he continues to battle for the starting quarterback job, his attention turned to a different topic: the Jacob Blake shooting.
On Sunday, the 29-year-old Black man got shot seven times by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisc. Athletes, celebrities, and ordinary citizens have expressed their outrage over the latest example of police brutality.
On Wednesday, Newton sent a powerful message about the Blake shooting. Additionally, he discussed what needs to be done to create change.
“What’s going on in this country of ours at times is extremely disgusting,” Newton said. “And until we find a fix, then more than ever we have to unify as one as much as possible. From the Black Lives Matter campaign to the social injustice, bringing awareness with that, to just everybody becoming more aware of certain things, and not necessarily turning their ear, turning their face with things that are extremely blatant.”
Bill Belichick’s big offseason addition also discussed what he has done to generate more awareness about these issues that exist right here in America.
“I do try to bring awareness to the environment I’m in each and every day from my children, from having open discussions in the locker room—not just with all Black players—with Caucasians as well, or whatever the race may be,” Newton explained. “I think that’s the start that we can all impact change in our own right.”
Newton isn’t the only star quarterback speaking up
In addition to Cam Newton, fellow star quarterback Aaron Rodgers also delivered a powerful message about the Jacob Blake shooting. The Green Bay Packers’ leadership council met on Monday to discuss the shooting that just took place in their own state.
As one of the NFL’s most recognizable stars, Rodgers’ words carry significant weight. And he certainly made it quite clear that change needs to occur.
“There’s a systemic problem, and until the problem is fixed, this is going to be an all-too-common sighting in this country,” Rodgers said. “There’s antiquated laws that are prejudicial against people of color in this state. I think the governor and the folks at the Capitol need to take a hard look at some of those systems that are in place.”
Only time will tell if that systemic problem gets fixed. But when star athletes like Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers speak up, that can only help fuel the flames of change.