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CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 24: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers throws a pass in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium on January 24, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Cam Newton Speaks Out On Critics' Perception Of His Athletic Success

Cam Newton isn't too worried about others' reactions to his sportsmanship.

Cam Newton might've received twice as many sacks than any other quarterback in the pro league over the course of his career, but still, the ATL native pushes through with a dab or a smile, now all the way to Super Bowl 50. But although he's sustained the blows on the turf, he's trying to deflect critics' perceptions of his sportsmanship in the press room.

In a conference on his mindset going into the final game of the Panthers' (18-1) season, facing up against the Denver Broncos, Newton said the 24/7 lens on his performance is because of his ability to stick true to his personality and discipline.

"Here I am, I'm doing exactly what I want to do, how I want to do it, and when I look in the mirror, it's me," he said. "Nobody changed me, nobody made me act this certain type of way and I'm true to my roots. That feels great. People are going to say whatever they're going to say and if I'm in this world living for that person, 'Oh this person is going to say this. This person is going to say that,' then I can't look at myself and say, 'I'm Cam Newton.'

He also added that his race has played a factor. "I've said this 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."

This isn't the first time in recent months that the 26-year-old had to debunk his statements or actions on the field. After elated gestures or "hitting the dab" a few times after a successful play or touchdown against the Tennessee Titans, a concerned mother wrote a lengthy letter on how she failed to explain to her 9-year-old daughter what Cam's expressions actually meant.

"Your behavior brought out like behavior in the stands," the parent wrote. "Some of the Panthers fans in our section began taunting the hometown fans. Many Titans fans booed you, a few offering instructive, but not necessarily family friendly, suggestions as to how you might change your behavior."

Newton later expressed that you can't fault the mother for sharing her opinion. "If she feels offended, I'll apologize to her, but at the end of the day, I am who I am," he said. "I'm not doing it to be disrespectful to nobody, more so just doing it just to shine light and get people a smile and having fun doing what I do."

Newton and the Carolina Panthers will seek to get their first Super Bowl ring in franchise history on Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. EST on CBS.

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Russell Wilson Reportedly Becomes Highest-Paid NFL Player

At the end of the NFL's season earlier this year, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson expressed his desire to remain in the Rain City but only if his deal could be renegotiated. As of April 15, it appears that Wilson, with the help of his agent Mark Rodgers, received exactly what he asked for.

According to ESPN, Wilson and his team of seven years signed an agreement of a $140 million extension, plus an added $65 million signing bonus, currently making the 30-year-old the highest paid player in the NFL.

With this renegotiation, Wilson not only takes the spot as the richest athlete in the league from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but he also set a record with his signing bonus being the highest ever.

Wilson took to his Instagram page to announce the good news with a video featuring his wife, R&B singer Ciara. "Hey Seattle, we got a deal," he said in the clip while lying in bed with Ciara. "Go Hawks. But I'mma see y'all in the morning. Time for y'all to go to bed."

 

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SEATTLE. Let’s get it. @Seahawks #GoHawks

A post shared by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on Apr 16, 2019 at 12:43am PDT

News of Wilson's deal comes after four days of negotiating between the quarterback's agent and the Seahawks. Wilson and Rodgers had a deadline for midnight for the Seahawks to make a suitable decision. On Tuesday (April 16), prior to the negotiation being set in stone, Rodgers stated that "at the end of the day my guy wants to live, work, thrive in Seattle. Loves this town and its fans. He compromised to stay here. I respect that."

Wilson's move was welcomed with open arms from Ciara, who took to his Instagram comments to say "So proud of you baby! God is so good! #GoHawks."

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Mike Ehrmann

Tiger Woods Wins The 2019 Masters

Sunday afternoon (April 14) Tiger Woods has won the Masters tournament, his first major win in 11 years. The win marks an official comeback for the athlete after more than a decade of scandals and career lows.

The 43-year-old golf pro walked up to the 18th hole as the crowd cheered, reminiscent of years prior when Woods dominated the sport.

After clinching the title, Tiger smiled and threw his fist in the air. He then hugged his son in the same place he once hugged his father after a Masters win.

WATCH: The moment Tiger Woods makes a historic 11-year comeback as he wins #TheMasters 2019 pic.twitter.com/YlqYRcSwyw

— The Speaker (@TweetTheSpeaker) April 14, 2019

Shortly after his win, Twitter erupted.

“Tiger Woods’ playing career is over. He will never win another major. It’s dead. Bury it.”

Tiger Woods at the 2019 Masters: pic.twitter.com/8AmFPxJ6RV

— NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) April 14, 2019

https://twitter.com/JamalJimoh/status/1117495211737796608

Congratulations, Tiger! To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit, and determination.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 14, 2019

However, Tiger's win was also met with mixed reviews by those who remember the player's past offenses, comments, and association.

nothing displays america’s collective ability to compartmentalize quite like a tiger woods victory. we don’t even really like this dude but this feels amazing.

— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) April 14, 2019

Caniblasian golfers winning today. This y’all mans? #TheMasters pic.twitter.com/TQniFveUPD

— Alvin aqua Blanco (@Aqua174) April 14, 2019

Trump gonna tweet congrats to Tiger and the whole TL gonna be like pic.twitter.com/PBIfrFvkuJ

— Justin Tinsley (@JustinTinsley) April 14, 2019

This is Tiger Woods' fifth Masters and after the game, he briefly spoke about the importance of the moment 22 years after his first win.

“It’s come full circle,” Woods said after the win. “It’s a special feeling.”

Congrats to Tiger Woods.

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Allison Farrand

Students At Lebron James' "I Promise" School Exceed Test Score Expectations

It's been nearly a year since Lebron James opened the "I Promise" school in Akron, OH, and so far, the results and impact has been tremendous. According to a new report from The New York Times, the students' test scores have exceeded all expectations.

There are reportedly just 240 students in the inaugural third and fourth grade classes at the school, but their test scores in math and reading have shown a huge improvement. Before the school year started, the students' reading scores were in the one percentile. After taking the district-wide exams one year later, however, the third graders scored in the ninth percentile and the fourth graders in the 16th percentile.

The same improvement was reflected in their math scores. The third graders jumped from the one percentile to the 18th, while the fourth graders moved up from the second to the 30th percentile. Overall, test scores increased at a rate higher than 99 out of 100 schools, according to the Northwest Evaluation (NWEA).

"These kids are doing an unbelievable job, better than we all expected," Lebron told The Times. "When we first started, people knew I was opening a school for kids. Now people are going to really understand the lack of education they had before they came to our school... People are going to finally understand what goes on behind our doors."

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