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Cam Newton: Race not a factor in criticism of my play

Harsh criticism has been lobbed at Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in recent weeks. Compared to someone like Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, for example, we think the criticism has been over the top.

Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon believes race could be a factor in the criticism. Newton disagrees.

"I haven't heard (Moon's) remarks, but when it comes to race and this game, I don't think there is none at all," Newton said Wednesday, via

We don't necessarily think it's a conscious thing, but an outspoken (aka honest) player like Newton is criticized more in the media than quarterbacks who make vanilla quotes. A lot of people don't love how Newton goes about his business.

It has been a humbling week for the Auburn product after he saw Panthers general manager Marty Hurney get fired.

"That's the nature of this business," Newton said Wednesday, via the Charlotte Observer. "And I got a full dose of what this business really is like on Monday ... There were some things I feel I could have done for Marty to keep his job. I'm talking about my play on the field ... . I have the utmost respect for him."

Newton knows to bring it back to the play on the field. The criticism will stop if his play improves. That much, everyone can agree on.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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