Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton offered his most substantial take Wednesday on the silent protests started by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick that have spread across the NFL over the first two weeks of the regular season.
Newton made his comments to the media in light of the clash between protesters and authorities in Charlotte, North Carolina, after police shot and killed Keith L. Scott.
Per Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, Newton said he saluted Kaepernick for taking the stance he has, but his action has been taken through his own foundation.
Regarding the shooting death of Scott on Tuesday, Newton said it's "embarrassing" these things keep happening while also saying he wants to get more details on that particular shooting, according to Person.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said questions about the shooting are more suited for political leaders and are unfair to ask athletes, per Steve Reed of the Associated Press.
Per Black & Blue Review, Newton did say he's "in a position now where if I say something, it's going to be critiqued. And if I don't say something, then I'm flawed."
Newton certainly understands the delicate nature of this situation with that line. On Tuesday, Kaepernick said he's received death threats since his protest began but didn't alert team security because "if something were to happen to him, it would only be proving his point," per ESPN.com's Nick Wagoner.
In addition to his media comments, Newton made a post on Instagram supporting Kaepernick's protest, noting in the caption, "The real problem is and will always be the people and how we treat one another."
Per Person, Newton noted that Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn's advice to the former Heisman Trophy winner was to use his influence in a positive way.
Newton also posed a scary and powerful hypothetical situation, per Jonathan Jones of Sports Illustrated:
Kaepernick started his protest in order to bring light to police violence and social injustice. While there is no perfect way to speak out on any sensitive topic that people feel passionate about, Kaepernick's protest has inspired many of his fellow NFL players, as well as athletes in other sports, to join in.