The setup for the postgame interviews did Newton and the distraught Panthers no favors after the jarring 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50. Both teams were set up quite close to each other, leading to Panthers hearing the joyous boasts of Broncos players.
Just before walking off, Newton appears to overhear Denver corner Chris Harris on the other side of a separating curtain discussing the defense's game plan of forcing the Panthers to throw the ball. Microphones in front of Newton also picked up Harris' comments. The quarterback looks toward Harris' direction before walking off:
Newton's reaction is wholly human. Following the biggest loss of his career, he had no interest in listening to others boast about his failures.
For his part, Harris told ESPN's Ed Werder on Twitter he had no idea why he was placed so close to Newton during his postgame availability to reporters.
The outside perception to this revelation likely won't change most people's preconceived notions of Newton. Someone who believes the MVP is boastful and a poor loser is likely to believe he still should have stayed and faced the music. Newton backers will offer that his response was what most might do in that emotional spot.
In the end, postgame interviews and reactions offer little evidence of any player's true character or denote anything about his on-field acumen. In 2010 Peyton Manning didn't shake hands with New Orleans Saints players after a loss in Super Bowl XLIV. That action didn't color Manning's career. Nor should Newton's raw response to Sunday's Super Bowl defeat.