Just days after sending a stern message about his contract, Cam Newton pivoted to another topic on Thursday. Instead of discussing his future with the New England Patriots, the 31-year-old quarterback sent a strong message about the Breonna Taylor case that has generated strong reactions from NFL players.
Cam Newton is no stranger to speaking up about social justice
Cam Newton may draw attention for his unique post-game attire, but he also uses his time in front of the mic to talk about tough topics. This summer, the Jacob Blake shooting elicited emotional reactions from many NFL players. Of course, the shooting occurred not long after the death of George Floyd, which added another layer to the police brutality narrative.
After the Blake shooting, Newton sent a powerful message about the change that needs to take place in the United States.
“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.”
In addition, he relayed how he has tried to generate awareness about the issues that persist in our country.
“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 sends powerful message about the Breonna Taylor case
Having already made his feelings clear about the Jacob Blake shooting, Cam Newton turned his attention to Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black woman who got fatally shot by police despite being unarmed.
The Taylor case took a dramatic turn on Wednesday when news emerged that no murder charges will be filed against the police officers involved in her death. Former detective Brett Hankison will instead be charged with multiple counts of wanton endangerment.
That decision to not file murder charges elicited a powerful message from Newton during his Thursday press conference.
“At the end of the day, as human beings, we have to do right and better about each other,” he explained. “And when the Breonna Taylor situation happens and you see the outcry of America just in disbelief, you’re speechless. But the sacrifices of the Colin Kaepernicks, the Eric Reids, so many different players who have been, in essence, boycotted or blackballed from their specific sport, it makes you kind of question—or go back to what I just said—side-eye the whole situation.”
Newton further added, “No matter what happens on that specific case—because it’s out of pretty much everybody’s hands, outside of the necessary people—let this be a situation that we all can empathize with. No matter if you’re going to a grocery store, no matter if you’re going to a gas station, let’s just do right by people.”
Other NFL players have expressed strong opinions about the Taylor decision
In addition to Cam Newton, other NFL players have expressed strong opinions about the Breonna Taylor case. Dak Prescott delivered a stern message of his own in speaking with the media on Thursday.
“That’s disgusting. I don’t understand that one at all,” he said. “There’s a lot of things in this country that I don’t understand that we’re looking at right now. It’s about us educating ourselves. It’s about us getting registered to vote and going out there and doing that and making sure that we’re educated on who we’re voting for and what they’re going to do when they’re in office.”
Prescott wasn’t the only quarterback who expressed his displeasure with the Taylor decision. Dwayne Haskins of the Washington Football Team made it perfectly clear where he stands on the lack of murder charges against the officers involved in her death.
“It’s really disgusting to think about because of how fragile human life is and the importance of your last breath,” Haskins said. “If it was my sister or my mom or my dad, or if I have kids one day, I’ll be frank: I’ll be pissed off. Very pissed off.”