Cam Newton didn’t go to Charleston looking for attention.
But when a star quarterback ends up on the scene of a national tragedy, somebody’s going to tweet about it.
So while he wanted to keep he trip low-key, the Panthers quarterback said Thursday the trip was important to him at a personal level also.
“Out of respect of the families, I didn’t want to say anything too much about it,” he said, via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review. “What was done, it was done. I didn’t want to be a distraction by no means; I just wanted to show my respect.
“One thing we have to realize in this life is we have to use our influence in a positive way, and that’s all I was trying to do. It was a senseless act, but at the same time, it was done in South Carolina. Being the face of a franchise that’s based out of North Carolina, it’s the whole gamut. So why didn’t I go? That’s the thing I would have had to question myself if I didn’t go. I’m happy I did it, and so much respect to those families who lost their loved ones.”
Newton’s actions fall in line with what has been an admirable response by the Panthers organization in general, including owner Jerry Richardson’s quiet donation of $100,000 to put toward funeral expenses and a memorial at Emanuel AME Church, and a team statement calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state house grounds in South Carolina.
The NFL offers them a pulpit few have, and lately, the Panthers have used theirs nobly and well.