Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is often the subject of criticism despite having led his team to Super Bowl 50 and being the likely recipient of the 2015-16 NFL MVP award, but the superstar signal-caller brushed off his detractors Wednesday.
Newton enjoyed a regular season for the ages, with 3,837 passing yards, 636 rushing yards, 45 total touchdowns and 10 interceptions to go along with a 15-1 record.
The master of the dab is among the most unique players the NFL has ever seen, but he believes his race is a big reason why not everyone celebrates his accomplishments, according to NFL.com's Dan Hanzus:
I've said it since Day One, 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. Oftentimes, it's funny, I get inspired, it makes me go out there and practice even harder because I remember when I was working out for the draft and I would see the Senior Bowl playing, I see these guys out there busting their tails, trying to get drafted, trying to have a job to provide for their family or themselves and it's like, here I am, I'm doing exactly what I want to do, how I want to do it.
Newton has orchestrated one of the greatest seasons in NFL history considering the lack of a formidable receiving corps around him aside from tight end Greg Olsen.
Even so, the former No. 1 overall draft pick is aware that he'll never be able to win over everyone, per Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer:
"Truth is whether you win lose or draw, people are going to talk. True fans...they know what's up." -Cam— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) January 27, 2016
When watching Newton perform on the field, it is quite obvious how comfortable he is in his own skin based on his penchant for celebrating.
The former Auburn standout solidified that notion by insisting he'll never change regardless of how some may perceive him, according to Max Henson of the Panthers' official website:
Cam Newton: "I look in the mirror and I'm me. Nobody changed me. I'm true to my roots."— Max Henson (@PanthersMax) January 27, 2016
Newton also made it clear that no matter how much backlash he gets, he doesn't intend to project it back onto others, per Bryan Strickland of Panthers.com:
Cam says he doesn't lose sleep over his critics because he checks himself short of judging others.— Bryan Strickland (@PanthersBryan) January 27, 2016
While the three-time Pro Bowl selection isn't focused on his critics, he will have an opportunity to silence many of them with a victory in Super Bowl 50 over the Denver Broncos.
Not only would that give the Panthers a record of 18-1 on the season, but it would also give Newton a win over one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Peyton Manning on football's biggest stage.
The 26-year-old signal-caller may not appeal to everyone due to his brashness and outspoken nature, but even his biggest opposition would be hard-pressed to downplay what he has accomplished on the field.
Newton still has one major step left to take, and based on the comments he made Wednesday, he won't allow the outside noise to prevent him from taking his best shot at achieving his ultimate goal.
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