A testy Cam Newton said he plans to talk to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about hits he's been taking.
"It's really taking the fun out of the game for me honestly," Newton said after the Panthers' 30-20 win over the Cardinals on Sunday. "Because at times I don't even feel safe. And enough is enough. I plan on talking to Commissioner Goodell about this. But it's not fun. And I don't know what I have to do."
"I could have torn my ACL," Newton said of the hit. "That's the breaking point."
Newton said he's taken hits that have drawn flags for other quarterbacks, but not him.
"The story of my life ever since I came in is, 'Oh, oh well we missed that one, I'm sorry, we'll try to get it.' That's bullcrap, that's bullcrap.
"As players in this league, we do something stupid, we get fined. If we do something derogatory to somebody else, we get fined. I just can't keep accepting, 'Oh we missed that one' or 'I apologize for doing that' or 'I didn't see it,' -- that's horsecrap. That's horsecrap. And coming from a person that's been fined before, coming from a person that everybody is expecting a lot from, and I'm still growing. But yet when you constantly see the hits, constantly see flags being picked up, and you constantly see flags getting thrown, and to see other quarterbacks getting it, lesser hits, lesser physical hits, then it's taking the fun for me out. I'm just being honest with that."
In the season opener, Newton was the subject of controversial non-calls when he was hit in the helmet multiple times without penalties being called. Questions were also raised as to whether concussion protocol was implemented properly after he was allowed to play shortly after taking a late-game hit. In Week 5, Newton suffered a concussion on a legal hit while he was running in for a two-point conversion against the Atlanta Falcons. He missed the next game.
The refereeing of Newton has drawn comparisons to Shaquille O'Neal's heyday in the NBA. Newton's size and physicality often make it difficult for refs to see the illegal and borderline illegal shots he takes. Newton's size, however, doesn't excuse repeated missed calls.
Newton is now standing up for himself after the latest blow.