It’s been just over one week since Colin Kaepernick‘s national anthem protest went public, and in that time, Kaepernick has steadily been gaining support from players around the NFL, including Seattle’s Jeremy Lane and 49ers teammate Eric Reid, who both protested the national anthem on Thursday.
One person who definitely won’t be supporting Kaepernick’s cause, at least not outwardly, is Cam Newton. During a recent interview with ESPN.com, the Panthers quarterback was asked to give his thoughts on Kaeperick’s protest, and he decided to stay completely neutral.
“Who am I to say that it’s wrong? Who am I to say that it’s right? Either or, it’s still personal,” Newton said.
A large part of Kaepernick’s protest stems around police brutality. The 49ers quarterback believes that officers around the country have treated minorities unfairly.
As for Newton, he says he’s not looking at things that way. The Panthers quarterback doesn’t get why people are judging other people by the color of their skin.
“What I can’t, you know, fathom is, how does one-eighth of an inch — something so small — be the difference and such a big commodity in our whole lifetime,” Newton said. “And that’s the thickness of our skin, one-eighth of an inch. Under that, we’re all the same color, and that’s the big picture.”
Newton would like to see everyone get along, no matter what color they are.
“A lot of scrutiny happens when an athlete starts talking about race, but the truth of the matter is we’ve just got to do right by each other, no matter what color you are,” Newton said. “Certain things that have happened in our life, in our lifetime, it is kind of embarrassing to be affiliated with, but it still happens. Who am I to say, ‘Colin, you’re wrong’? And who am I to say, ‘Bro, you’re right?’ Because we all have the right to think whatever we want to think, and I respect that about everybody.”
Newton has definitely toned down his opinion on race over the past nine months.
At Super Bowl 50 in February, the quarterback had no problem discussing the issue.
“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,” Newton said at the time.
Four months later, Newton had an interesting answer when he was asked if he thought football fans were racist toward him.
“It’s not racism,” the Panthers quarterback said. “Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. I look at it like some people have certain beliefs, and I have my own belief, and we can agree to disagree on certain things. But this is what makes sports so amazing, that we can start a discussion around a table, in the newspaper, in the magazines, that will get people’s attention. And that’s what sports does.”
“Our great players are sitting back just taking the dollars, whether it’s Cam Newton, all these guys,” Bennett said while talking about the role athletes should be playing in social change. “They’re not really on the forefront of trying to change what’s going on.”
The bottom line is the Newton seems content with his stance on social issues, so don’t count on him joining Kaepernick’s protest anytime soon.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Cam Newton reveals his thoughts on Kaepernick’s national anthem protest