The 27-year-old Carolina Panthers quarterback has been under a microscope where everything from his post-Super Bowl press conferences, to his dance moves and fashion choices, are up for public scrutiny.
However, Newton doesn’t feel that race plays a factor. “It’s not racism,” Newton told the magazine of criticism from football fans, some of which has been branded as “flat-out racist by his teammate, Jimmy Clausen.
Instead, the NFL star sees the varying backlash to typical fodder. ”Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion.”
Though he previously stated that being an “African American quarterback” may “scare” people because they’ve never seen “nothing that can compare” to him,” Newton was pretty adamant about steering clear of race during the conversation with GQ.
“I don’t want this to be about race, because it’s not,” he said. “Like, we’re beyond that. As a nation.”
Twitter had different reactions to Newton’s words.
And these reporters will deliberately ask Blk athletes like Cam Newton about racial issues KNOWING that speaking the truth will jeopardize $
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) August 15, 2016
So Cam Newton is catching flack for saying fans aren’t racist to him. Maybe that’s his actual experience.
— Curtis Scoon (@CurtisScoon) August 15, 2016
Thank you. RT @JP_IZZZ_Back: I mean…we aint asking Cam Newton to be Malcolm X….We just asking him not to be Stacey Dash.
— Tiff B., Esq. (@BlackElleWoods) August 15, 2016
The football represents Cam Newton speaking on black issues.
— Veteran Freshman (@yusufyuie) August 15, 2016
I wanna care about what Cam Newton said, but I just don’t. I be more shocked when people of that kind of fame actually do say what’s real.
— King Anthony (@trillac_) August 15, 2016
Somebody said Cam Newton thinks he doesn’t face racism cause he dresses like a white lady 😂
— Uncle Wayne. (@WayneL_Jr) August 15, 2016
Take away the fame & the money let’s see if Cam Newton still thinks we are beyond racism.
— Dre. (@Blueraydre) August 15, 2016
Newton’s race quotes are a small portion of the larger interview where he talks more on living under a microscope, fatherhood, his infamous Versace pants, and political topics like North Carolina’s controversial bathroom law.
Newton didn’t want to reveal if he voted for Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed the anti-LGBT bill in March.
“That’s too personal,” said Newton. “You know I gain nothing by answering it. I love people too much to care about those type of things.”