Cam Newton is on the verge of completing an amazing year.
In his fifth season, he was voted the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA), the first member of the Panthers to earn that MVP award.
He's also the recipient of additional honors including the AP All-Pro First Team, Sporting News Offensive Player of the Year and Sporting News All-Pro. While many expect him to win the League MVP award, and rightfully so, the biggest award sits one week away from his grasp.
The Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy.
But while the accolades have been great and the support strong, the hate has been right there as well, and yesterday Cam finally addressed it point blank via The Charlotte Observer.
“I'm an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven't seen nothing that they can compare me to.”
They criticize his dabbing but don't appreciate his gifts to the community. They slam him for his perceived cockiness but don't compliment him for his humbleness and caring. He's a cultural phenom that has forced the NFL and the media to embrace a new way of thinking. He is a lightning rod that no one understands except those who truly understand and can filter out the ignorance.
“Whether you win, lose or draw, people are going to talk,” Newton said.
“Now the true fans -- they know what’s up. They’re going to be supportive whatever happens.... But people are going to judge and have their own opinion on certain things that I don’t have control over nor does anybody else.”
You can tell Cam is comfortable in his position as a Black quarterback, as a team leader and now as a father. Remember, he didn't even mention his newborn son because he didn't want it to be a distraction to the team. Even if you hate on him, you can't hate on his numbers or what his presence on the field means (ask the Cardinals).
He threw for 3,837 yards and 35 touchdowns during the Panthers' 15-1 regular-season run. He also rushed for 636 yards and 10 more TDs, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. That's ranks him as the No. 31 running back in terms of rushing yards, but he's tied for fifth in terms of rushing TDs among running backs.
So they can continue to call him names, put him down, say he's not as good as other QBs and blah, blah, blah. He, his teammates and fans will continue to support him, all the way to the Super Bowl and beyond.