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!
Boxer Gervonta Davis Involved in Minor Plane Crash, Documents Aftermath
Gervonta Davis just, miraculously, walked away from a plane crash relatively unscathed — and it sounds like what’s hurting him the most in the aftermath are his feet … and his caboose.
The professional boxer went live Saturday to document a terrifying encounter he says he and his crew had just gone through after boarding a private jet … which apparently failed to properly take off and crash landed back down to the airport grounds it was trying to leave.
Thankfully, it doesn’t appear the aircraft got very far up before coming back down to Earth — because Gervonta and other passengers seemed more or less okay … with their health and bodies intact.
That’s not to say Gervonta wasn’t feeling some hurt afterwards — on his live feed, he noted that his booty was aching like no other … this while he wrapped his feet in gauze. He’s pretty jovial about the whole thing, which is great to see, but this could’ve easily been way worse.
Gervonta also was able to get some shots of the downed plane, and it sure looks like something went wrong internally. There were also fire engines that showed up on the scene to evaluate the damage and tend to anyone’s injuries. Again, though, most everyone seems to be fine … which is absolutely incredible, because it appears there were even children aboard, based on a photo Gervonta posted shortly before getting on his flight. His video doesn’t capture any kids, though.
It’s unclear what exactly caused the malfunction — but you can hear Gervonta and his friends speculate on what happened … seems like there might’ve been some overheating of some sort. They also appear to be discussing some of the flight maneuvers the pilot(s) were using in the air … and the group seems to think that may have attributed to it going down.
Stay tuned while we here at Prestige try to get a hold of Gervonta’s team for more answers.
Tennis Player Coco Gauff Tests Positive For COVID-19, Will Not Attend Olympics
17-year-old tennis player Cori “Coco” Gauff was slated to be on the U.S. tennis team at the upcoming Olympic Games, but has withdrawn after testing positive for COVID-19.
She broke the news via social media.
“I am so disappointed to share the news that I have tested positive for COVID and won’t be able to play in the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” she wrote in a note. “It has always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympics, and I hope there will be many more chances for me to make this come true in the future.” At #25, Gauff is the youngest player with a Women’s Tennis Association ranking in the top 100 .
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At 15, Gauff shocked the sports world when she beat tennis icon Venus Williams in the opening round of Wimbledon in 2019. She then bested Williams again during her Australian Open debut in January 2020 and defeated Naomi Osaka at the same event.
Gauff finished her statement by wishing all of her fellow athletes well. “I want to wish TEAM USA best of luck and a safe game for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family.”
Magic’s Jonathan Isaac stands for national anthem as teammates, opponents kneel
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.”