Much of the dead week between the conference title games and a some-star game that should die was spent talking about why Panthers quarterback Cam Newton gets criticized and whether and to what extent there’s a racial component to it. Inside the team’s locker room, however, it’s a non-issue.
“We don’t even talk about it to be honest,” Panthers All-Pro defensive tackle Kawann Short told PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio. “We know what character he has and we know what he brings to the table and [he’s a] down-to-earth guy. [We] treat everybody like it’s a blood brother, and you grew up with him so many amount of years. . . . It’s just the outside people looking in can’t really tell what type of person he is. And that’s OK, because the only people that really care is family and closest friends and guys in this locker room.”
Short (drafted in 2013), Newton (drafted in 2011), and Luke Keuchly and Josh Norman (both drafted in 2012) provide the locker room with a nucleus that ensures the Panthers will contend for years to come. Which means that Newton and (as the team racks up titles) other players will draw more and more scrutiny from fans who resent the team’s success.
To hear the Short interview from January 28 and/or a condensed version of every weekday three-hour PFT Live show, click here.