Cam Newton defiantly defended his actions in the post-Super Bowl news conference that spawned a million hot takes.
"I don't have to conform to what anybody wants. I am my own person," the NFL's MVP told reporters Tuesday, via BlackandBlueReview.com.
Newton brushed aside the hot-take machines that called him a sore loser.
"I'm on record as being a sore loser," he said, via the Charlotte Observer. "I hate losing. You show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser."
Newton was roundly criticized for answering questions in a clipped manner and walking off after less than three minutes -- when he could hearBroncos corner Chris Harris discussing Denver's defensive game plan for shutting him down.
"Before you are quick to assume anything, what makes your way right?" the quarterback said of the people judging he and his teammates.
Added Newton: "If I offended somebody, that's cool, but I know who I am and I'm not about to conform nor bend for anybody's expectations because, your or anybody's expectations, will never exceed mine."
Coach Ron Rivera stood up for his quarterback during his Tuesday morning press conference. "Do I wish Cam would've handled it differently? Yes. But that's who he is. He hates to lose."
"I want players that hate to lose. I want the buses to be late for the airport," general manager Dave Gettleman later said.
As for the fourth-quarter fumble he did not dive on, Newton noted that "the way my leg was -- it could have been (contorted) in a way" to cause injury.
Many have already made their minds up on Newton -- whether to love or hate him. There is one thing everyone can agree: This young, talented Panthers team will remain an NFL force.
"We will be back, and I mean that, we will be back," Newton said. "I say that with so much emphasis."