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Cam Newton Walks Out of Press Conference

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Following the Panthers’ loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50, Cam Newton made what was then considered his most prominent gaffe with the press. In a terse session with reporters, Newton kept the hood of his sweatshirt pulled over his head and remained slouched in a chair while answering questions with as few words as possible.

Off to the side, you could see offensive coordinator Mike Shula and quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey both trying to get his attention from a vacant podium in what seem to be Shula trying to tell Newton to remove his hood and sit up. Perhaps they knew what was coming based on Newton’s mood after the 24–10 defeat.

Let’s fast forward to his sexist remarks toward Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue at the beginning of this month obviously made that back and forth in the belly of Levi Stadium seem like a tame, distant memory. Saying it was “funny” to hear a female “talk about routes” escalated from a perceived, general dislike of reporters into a profound lack of respect for a female beat reporter asking a fair football question and women working in sports altogether. No matter who wants him to change or who instructs him to change, he seems to have drawn a line in the sand when it comes to the press.

Let’s look as well to this past week where, upon Rodrigue’s return to the facility (after Newton’s comments, it was discovered that Rodrigue made racist jokes on her Twitter feed four and five years prior to the incident, for which Rodrigue issued an apology), Newton did not attend his required weekly briefing with reporters. During the open locker room session where journalists had access to the entire team, Newton played music at an obstructively loud volume, theoretically hampering reporters from doing their job.

On Wednesday, Newton left the podium after Rodrigue’s beat partner, longtime Observer writer Joe Person, asked Newton the following question: “Cam, big plays—chunk plays—can get you that energy you’re talking about. Does this offense, and I know you had several in Detroit and New England, do you think you guys have the wherewithal to do that consistently week in and week out?”

Newton then said “Next question,” waited three seconds and left the area. Newton did answer previous questions from Person, and Observer columnist Scott Fowler before the clipped incident:

In a statement provided to The MMQB, the Panthers said: “Cam didn’t intend to be discourteous toward any specific media member. In his mind after answering questions for nine minutes he had fulfilled his obligations.”

Because of Newton’s prior actions, his walk-off on Wednesday will appear to have malicious intent no matter what his true motive was. If Newton’s goal is to suggest that reporters don’t ask questions worth his time, or that he has better things to do than stand and discuss Carolina’s recent loss to the Chicago Bears, there’s probably an interesting and legitimate debate to be had. After that Super Bowl, I do remember thinking that because of Newton, post-game questions probably do need to improve to some degree and be sharper.

However, the way Newton has chosen to go fight this battle left him all alone. Like that Super Bowl night, it seems there are people in the periphery waving, trying to get his attention and help him. Like that night, Newton opted to ignore them.

My suggestion to the Panthers is, STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR CAM NEWTONS TANTRUMS!

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Magic’s Jonathan Isaac stands for national anthem as teammates, opponents kneel

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Orlando Magic power forward Jonathan Isaac became the first NBA player to stand during the national anthem following the season restart … deciding against both kneeling and wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt.

The league’s coaches, refs and players — from LeBron James to Zion Williamson — have been using the anthem demonstrations to raise awareness as games pick back up in Orlando … a gesture that is being supported by NBA commish Adam Silver.

Isaac became the first player to choose to stand as the anthem was played before the Magic’s match-up with the Brooklyn Nets on Friday … while the rest of the team’s players and staffers took a knee.

It’s worth noting — Silver says everyone will have the option to kneel during the anthem without consequence … despite a league rule requiring players to stand.

The same goes for anyone who wishes to stand — no one is saying the players HAVE to kneel, either.

So far, Jonathan hasn’t commented on his decision to stand publicly — because the game is currently being played. But, when he does, we’ll update here.

Charles Barkley spoke about the demonstrations on Thursday during TNT’s “Inside The NBA,” saying, “The national anthem means different things to different people.”

“I’m glad these guys are unified. If people don’t kneel, they’re not a bad person. I want to make that perfectly clear. I’m glad they had unity, but if we have a guy who doesn’t want to kneel because the anthem means something to him, he should not be vilified.”

The Magic released a statement in support of the demonstration, saying, “The DeVos Family and the Orlando Magic organization fully supports Magic players who have chosen to leverage their professional platform to send a peaceful and powerful message condemning bigotry, racial injustice and the unwarranted use of violence by police, especially against people of color.”

“We are proud of the positive impact our players have made and join with them in the belief that sports can bring people together — bridging divides and promoting inclusion, equality, diversity and unity.”

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Reggie Bush: Paying college athletes will ‘destroy some people’

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College athletes getting paid for their services has been a worthy argument for a long time, but the NCAA finally supports a proposal to allow college athletes to sign endorsement deals and receive payment for their work after some of the best basketball recruits in the country have declared for the NBA’s G League instead of attending college.

While being paid for their work certainly is a step in the right direction, former NFL star Reggie Bush doesn’t think it’s such a great idea.

“Guidance is the one thing that young athletes coming through the college system miss on so much,” Bush told Playboy, according to ESPN. “I missed on it. They’re about to start paying college athletes. This is something that has never been experienced before, and it’s going to destroy some people if their foundation is not in the right place.”

A formal proposal for the new rules is set to be submitted no later than October to the NCAA board, and they will then vote on the proposal sometime before January 2021.

Bush was a two-time All-American running back during his days at USC, and helped the school win back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004. He won the Heisman Trophy as college football’s best player in 2005, but forfeited the award in 2010 after the NCAA found that Bush received money and gifts from sports agents when he wasn’t allowed to do so.

The 35-year-old went on to have a successful NFL career after his collegiate days at USC. He played for the New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers before hanging up his cleats in 2017.

It’s weird to think that Bush is against athletes being paid for endorsement deals, especially considering he improperly accepted cash during his collegiate days.

Many college standouts will be able to use the money they earn to take care of their families, and that alone is a terrific reason why paying them is the right thing to do. They perform like professional athletes, earn their colleges and universities massive amounts of money and provide entertainment to fans, so why shouldn’t they be paid?

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Victims In Kobe Bryant Crash Have Now All Been Identified

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Here’s what is known so far about the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant and eight other people.

Nine people were on board the Sikorsky S76 when something went wrong just before 10 a.m. Sunday.

The passengers were on their way to a basketball game when the chopper went down.

The helicopter’s flight path shows it going from Orange County to the San Fernando Valley and then hovering over the Glendale area as it waited for clearance to travel through the Valley to Calabasas. The tracking ends at the crash site in Calabasas.

Kobe Bryant’s 13-year old daughter Gianna was among those killed. Gianna — often called “Gigi” — was the second oldest of Bryant’s four daughters.

Bryant had coached Gianna’s AAU basketball team out of his Mamba Sports Academy training facility in Thousand Oaks for the past two years.

They were all reportedly headed to an AAU game when the crash happened.

In addition to Bryant and his daughter, three members of one family died in the crash.

John Altobelli was the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. His wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa were also on board.

The husband of Christina Mauser posted on Facebook that she died in the helicopter crash. Mauser was a basketball coach at Harbor Day School in Newport Beach, where Kobe’s daughter attended school. Mauser’s husband says he and his kids are devastated.

Sarah Chester and her middle school aged daughter Payton were on also on board the helicopter piloted by Ara Zobayan.

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