About Atlanta’s hate for Cam Newton and the Panthers …

Atlanta native Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers celebrates during the NFC championship against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers celebrates during the NFC championship against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. (Grant Halverson / Getty Images)

Cam  Newton is an Atlanta native, led his college team (Auburn) to an SEC championship and then a national title his lone season on campus, probably is the most entertaining quarterback the NFL has seen since Michael Vick (before he jumped the rails) and now has led his team (Carolina) to the Super Bowl.

There are a number of ingredients there that should make him popular on the Atlanta sports scene, and probably does with some. But Newton also seems to be as vilified a sports figure as you’re going to find with area sports fans, particularly on social media. One numskull actually Tweeted this to me Sunday night:

Really?

Why such scorn? Here are some reasons:

• He’s not one of us! Allegiances to an athlete who was born in a city and went to a local high school (Westlake) dissipate quickly when that person leaves to play for a heated rival college of Georgia’s — first Florida, then Auburn, but that’s another story — and then play professionally for an NFC South Division rival of the Falcons (Carolina). Never go against the family, Fredo.

• He’s a crook! OK, there was that stolen laptop thing when he was a backup at Florida. That led to a suspension and prompted him to transfer to a community college in Texas. Then there was his father’s attempt to pimp young Cam’s services to the highest bidder in the SEC. (Cecil Newton reportedly told Mississippi State boosters it would take “more than a scholarship” for Newton to enroll there and we heard stories of six-figure demands.)

Newton wound up at Auburn. No evidence ever was uncovered that he or his father received cash. This all led to a messy handling of the case by the NCAA (shocker!). The NCAA suspended Newton on a Tuesday, and for only a Tuesday — Nov. 30, 2010, four days before the SEC championship against South Carolina. The reason for the suspension: Cecil Newton’s solicitation. But there was a widespread belief that Newton had gotten away with something. And then Auburn won the SEC and BCS titles and Newton won the Heisman Trophy and, well, that just made it all worse.

• He’s a showboat! Yes, soccer moms are very upset that Mr. Cam Newton has no conducted himself in a more professional manner. He dances. He points. He gloats. He smiles that big, phony, in-your-face smile. (Nice teeth, though.) But those same soccer moms wouldn’t have a problem if one of their team’s players did all that. Letter-writing soccer moms also fail to recognize that Newton picks out a child in the stands to hand a football to after every touchdown. Are Newton’s antics a bit much at times? Sure. But they’re all in fun. Every Falcons fan thought it was charming back in the days of Billy “White Shoes” Johnson’s dance. If you don’t like what Newton does, don’t let him get into the end zone. Or don’t watch.

• That team is arrogant! Yes. Young winners often are. It’s why Falcons fans will tell you the 2015 season had two highlights: 1) The 5-0 start; 2) Handing Carolina its only defeat in the 15th game. But if the Panthers’ words or antics get you that fired up, there’s probably also a bit of envy there. As in, “I wish that was my team.” Want to shut up the Panthers? Beat them? Want to stop Cam Newton from dancing? Stop him. The Falcons did. Somehow.

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171 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

Great athlete....no class. I recently read in the AJC that Newton said he was disliked because he is black. How ridiculous can he get with that comment. Blacks dominate the sport and many are admired. Newton is a no class jerk and lacks the admirable trait of great sportsmanship. I'm surprised his own team mates don't hate his antics, but he gives them the chance to win a super bowl so they tolerate him. Millions of young kids are going to copy his ridiculous insults to the game and to sportsmanship. The future will be dominated by "Cam Newton" wannabes and it also opens the door for them to develop their own sportsmanship atrocities. The game will become a circus of idiotic antics on the field and Cam Newton will be the head clown.

Odysseus
Odysseus

@TideDawg This kind of thing happens when a player makes it all about him.  Because of his excessive celebrations on the sidelines, I doubt his motivation when he does things with kids.  Even politicians know its right to kiss babies.  

kcgaine
kcgaine

I don't like him because he's such a DIVA. When he's in the open field, he runs like a tight end, and some of his biggest runs have been after he's been "stopped". But heaven help the 2nd or 3rd defender that hits him in a pile-up. He's allowed to keep fighting for yards but he goes crazy if the defense actually hits him.

Bijoudrains
Bijoudrains

OMG!  What's your next article?  Something about the Kardashians?  Cam's a winner and the team are winners.  I'm an Atlantan and appalled by your sensationalism.  This is why my dog won't even use your newspaper.  Catch the clue bus and quit inciting hate.  It's a game.

dawg fan
dawg fan

There was never a shred of evidence that he or anyone else accepted any money for him to play at Auburn.  It was all rumor and speculation. A lot of it came from Richt fans looking for an excuse for their hero.  If our lord and savior Mark Richt can't win a trophy it must be because everyone else cheats.  I can't tell you how many times I heard some variation of that lame excuse over the past 7-8 years.  Georgia does things "the right way" we were told.  The implication being that everyone else does things the wrong way.  Again, no evidence whatsoever to back it up.  I about wanted to puke.  It was embarrassing.

Thank God and greyhound those days are gone. 

kerryb
kerryb

I think what makes people sick of Cam Newton is they get tired of seeing an immature five year old child in a grown mans body.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@kerryb Another whining, pathetic, jealous dawg fan......he would have been a great tight end.....LOL!

alphabama
alphabama

He's a self absorbed cheater with the worst fake smile I've ever seen.  I choke every time I see hand the ball to a kid after a touchdown.  It's just a cover up for his evil ways.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@alphabama Hate filled Bama fans also.......damn sport, you can't win every year!

Ginger & Spice
Ginger & Spice

The audio tape is of no meaning? His father is a piece of filth that like Bishop Eddie Long, uses God as a cover to lace his pockets with $$$$$. Those folks are the scum of the scum. 

ZAZ
ZAZ

Well, at least we didn't get '5 things to know about Cam being hated by everyone'.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Atlanta Falcon fans hate the Panthers...........UGA and SEC fans hate Cam, plain and simple as that!....sour grapes! And the hilarious idea that the QB guru Richt wanted to make him a TE!

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

I don't dislike a winner, even though I'm a Falcon Fan. Cam is certainly that.

Falcons2013
Falcons2013

Been a Falcons season ticket holder for 25 years. From the PSLs to the clueless direction in keeping Dimitroff and Shannahan, the Falcons have alienated me as a long standing fan. Knowing I will not pay for a PSL has me looking around the league and quite frankly our division rival is exciting to watch. Cam has the excitement Vick had before throwing his talent away and is what we thought RG3 might have become. The Panthers have built with a solid offensive line. Hmmm. That's a novel thought.

Msaw007
Msaw007

Black Atlanta loves Cam.. White Atlanta is just being, the usual White Atlanta.

Doberman Fan
Doberman Fan

@Msaw007

What a stupid comment; 90%+ of teams are black thus all comments about football by white folks would have to be considered racist.  I am white in N. Augusta, SC.  I was a Falcons fan prior to the Panthers arrival.  I have liked Cam since the first time I saw him on TV playing for Auburn.  I was so excited when my favorite team  drafted Cam.  For that matter, I told many upon his being drafted that within 5 years Cam would be one of the best QB's in the NFL.  I knew back then Cam definitely had the most superior physical attributes; it was just a matter of him maturing and whether or not Cam was smart.  Plus, I get a kick out of Cam's antics and attitude; the guy makes NFL football "fun" again for his team and excites the fans; what's wrong with that?

Odysseus
Odysseus

@Doberman Fan @Msaw007 Yeah...its fun when he's winning.  It is fun when his celebrations are excessive during a blowout of an opponent.  It is fun when he draws attention to himself and away from the team.  Obviously, it is not so fun when he doesn't get his way.  Watching him sulk and pitch temper tantrums certainly doesn't make NFL football, "fun".

TonyHut
TonyHut

Those of you on here that say you don't hate Cam Newton are very much in the minority. So Jeff Schultz you say it was never proven Cam wasn't paid to go to Auburn. You're a idiot then if you think otherwise. Still that doesn't explain the reason Falcon fans hate Cam Newton. It's simple. Atlanta fans hate Cam because he brings it upon himself. What, are we suppose to support a jerk that shows so much disrespect to the home folk? Atlanta would look like the laughing stock of the NFL if we cheered this jerk after the way he acts when playing against Atlanta. Cam seems to like to rub it into Falcon fans a little too much. If he would just go about his business and show the home folk some respect, we'd more than gladly return that respect in kind. There is no comparison in what Billy Johnson did and what Newton does. I will be rooting for the Panthers in spite of Cam Newton, not because of him. Thank goodness for Davis. Next time why don't you ask us why we don't hate Thomas Davis or Charles Johnson.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@TonyHut You don't hate Davis or Johnson because they go WOOF, WOOF!!!...poor little dawgs lost to Cam the TE...........HAHAHAHA!!!  He does what White shoes and Primetime did....entertain their fans!

Dawg BOY
Dawg BOY

@TonyHut how does winning, scoring TDs, going to the Superbowl brings this on his self?  Hey Idiot, if UGA would have recognized the talent that he has, he would have signed with UGA.  Just like he would have signed with the Falcons.  But he didnt.  Like Lebron, he took his talents elsewhere.  I'm sure MIA is mad at James but you think he cares?! Get over it and root for the guy.  Dont be a hater.  Jealousy is a female trait, sr.



lighteredknot
lighteredknot

He can run but they will soon break him down. NFL guys on defense big fast and strong. It's a matter of time. Just watch.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@ligfhteredknot He is just as fast and bigger......apparently you haven't watched him play?........what are they waiting for, he has been playing 5 years?

ZAZ
ZAZ

I don't hate Cam. From where does this talk come? Most here in ATL wish he were our QB!

Zone3canE
Zone3canE

Atlanta-Fulton County LOVES Cam!!! He is the pride & joy of College Park/South Fulton!!! I'm a Falcon fan and I love it when we beat Carolina or any other NFL team, but we ain't playing in the Super Bowl this year or probably any time soon, so like the kids at Welcome All Park that call themselves PANTHERS and sport CAM NEWTON Under Armor cleats,PROVIDED by CAM NEWTON, I gotta support the homie Cam like he supports the Kids at Grady High, Westlake & the youngsters at Welcome All Park! Cam is a HOMETOWN HERO to Atlanta-Fulton County kids!!

Dan Chester
Dan Chester

See your second comment!  Nuff said.

STL_Falcon
STL_Falcon

Atlanta hates Cam Newton because he is what everyone wanted Mike Vick to be.

DavidHutchings
DavidHutchings

 You have to ask yourself Jeff, who cares whether Atlanta loves or hates Cam? He has buried his critics long ago. Besides being the best player on the planet, he has more good qualities than most big time athletes. I seriously doubt you will ever hear about him abusing a woman or any other destructive habits. Atlanta is so transient, it probably doesn't feel like home to a lot of folks. But I guess it is an angle to take a dig.

Drexel-Gal
Drexel-Gal

The word is "numbskull" ... as in, "one whose skull is numb".  You, of all people, should be familiar with this compound word, as your skull has been numbed by your being dropped repeatedly on your head as a child.  (That also explains why you are a Liberal.)

rationally
rationally

I watched Newton on several occasions run around the visiting teams stadium taunting the fans after a Panther win. Not to mention his taunting of Falcons fans in the stands after getting a first down. A damn first down. His touchdown antics are also way overboard and in some cases against NFL rules. That's why I dislike the disrespectful twit!!!!

TOJacket
TOJacket

@rationally Gosh, who would have thunk it....visiting players taunting the crowd......kind of like Vick flipping off a fan?.......I was glad he did at the time.....you mutts are deeply disturbed.

Zone3canE
Zone3canE

The CITY loves Cam!!!! Don't lie Jeff, Cam Newton does more community work and spends more time in the city & Fulton County than Matty Melt(Matt Ryan), and he is without question a much better QB!

TOJacket
TOJacket

Why would you write a column like M. Cunningham and not have comments?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket 

Arbitrary censorship--a shameful practice regularly employed by the AJC.

PetenHouston
PetenHouston

I don't believe Mary Ryan is the problem. I will say that he made some bonehead mistakes this year. But the scheme was not to his liking and he has a real hard time with it. When Dirk was here Marty Ice was awesome.

Edgar
Edgar

He's a great QB and guess what. So is Drew Brees. Jameis Winston is headed for that same moniker before his name and position. That's why the NFC South QB not mentioned here needs to improve his game next season.

Edgar
Edgar

I'm not a UGA fan. I am curious though to see during the next couple of years if Smart can change the "10 win" culture. Cam has made changes during his time under Ron Rivera and Shula. They know you style you offense to suit the strength of your QB. That goes back to Bill Walsh.

Edgar
Edgar

Yeah, well...

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Edgar Did you notice the great 4 time Tom (cheats) Brady looked just like Matt yesterday because that's what Matt sees every week...he was scared shatless!

TOJacket
TOJacket

@CardiganBoy @TOJacket @Edgar Now you are sounding delirious....are you a dawg fan?.....Matt has forgotten more about Pro football than Jameis knows and Brees is about to be in it.....the breeze. Matt is the 2nd best QB in that division in 2016....not "team" big difference.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Edgar Some say the Cheater Bellichick is the Greatest of all time but I think it was Gibbs or Walsh.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Edgar Or maybe a guy called Landry?.......Lombardi?.......Shula?

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

@TOJacket @Edgar That myth just won't die.  Matt's protection is better than what a lot of QBs get.  To compare our spaghetti-armed, scattershot QB to Tom Brady ought to be illegal.


Here's hoping Matt gets back his mojo before next season.  He ain't going anywhere.  And right now, as said already, he looks like the 4th best QB in a 4 team division.