"Sir, it all comes down to whether a person wins or loses," Newton said. "I don't bring race into the game, 'cause then you're talking about excuses. I. Hate. Excuses. Excuses are a disease."
Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, who served as an unpaid advisor to Newton before February's NFL Scouting Combine and April's NFL draft, garnered headlines two months ago when he took exception to a publication's unfavorable critique that labeled Newton as "selfish" and "immature," among other pointed barbs. Moon said then that "a lot of the criticism (Newton) is receiving is unfortunate and racially based."
"I thought we were all past this," Moon said in response to a scouting report by Pro Football Weekly's Nolan Nawrocki. "I don't see other quarterbacks in the draft being criticized by the media or fans about their smile or called a phony. He's being held to different standards from white quarterbacks. I thought we were past all this stuff about African-American quarterbacks, but I guess we're not.
"Of course there is racism in every walk of society. We've made a lot of progress in this country. But racism is still there. I just thought in the sports arena we were beyond it. I think the way Cam is being treated shows we're not."
Any negative reports about Newton's character didn't seem to hurt the former Auburn standout's draft stock. He was selected No. 1 overall by the Panthers, could start for them this coming season and is being supported by his new teammates.
"I'd say he's a workaholic," Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn recently told the Mobile Press-Register. "I didn't think he could throw at first, but I was wrong. I watched him in the 7-on-7 drills (during player-only workouts), and he looks great. He's a big dude and a great athlete. I hope we can make something happen with him."