Cam Newton: Rivera benched me because I didn’t have a tie

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Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said after Sunday night’s loss in Seattle that he was benched for the first series because he didn’t wear a tie while traveling, which coach Ron Rivera requires of every player.

“It came down to a dress code matter,” Newton said. “I didn’t follow dress code and coach told me I wasn’t going to start. I stand by his decision. His position he’s in, I follow it.”

The Panthers played at Oakland last week and did not travel home, choosing instead to practice on the West Coast for the week before the game at Seattle. Newton said he ordinarily has proper attire for traveling, but he sent his traveling clothes off when the team shipped its gear from Oakland to Seattle and found himself without anything to wear that would conform to Rivera’s dress code.

“We’ve been in California for a week and we shipped our clothes off, so that was the big no-no. But we didn’t lose this game because I didn’t have a tie,” Newton said.

Does it make sense to bench the starting quarterback because he didn’t have his clothes due to a travel mishap? Newton said he understood Rivera’s position, although his explanation of it was hard to follow.

“If coach didn’t feel like I was dressed appropriately then I wasn’t,” Newton said. “When you’re 6-foot-5, trying to get a shirt, I was away from home for a week, I didn’t pack a shirt. There were a lot of ties I was given but I can’t wear a tie with this. Meaning, I have a tank top on – we discussed it internally, me and coach, we got on the same page. I felt as if I wore a similar outfit like this before and nothing was done but he said he has rules in place and we have to abide by them. No person is better than the next person and it is what it is.”

What it is, is one of the most bizarre coaching decisions in the history of the NFL. The league’s reigning Most Valuable Player was benched over his clothing.

109 responses to “Cam Newton: Rivera benched me because I didn’t have a tie

  1. I see no problem with the coach’s decision. It just sounds like Cam is saying he agrees while shaking his head no.

  2. The league’s reigning Most Valuable Player was benched over not following the rules. Just because Cam is the reigning MVP, it doesn’t mean the rules should be bent for him alone and the rest of the team has to follow them.

  3. Great coaching decision. Don’t follow the rules, you get punished. Doesn’t matter how trivial they are perceived to be.

  4. Cam is full of BS. If the rules are in place simply pack a shirt with a tie and don’t bring the “tank top” with you.
    People want this guy discussed in the same way as Brady, Rogers and Big Ben. He will never be that type of leader.

  5. Dsure, he sealed his fuuse. If they get rid of a coach who took a traditional dumpster fire of a team to the Super Bowl, then so be it. If you don’t enforce rules, then you shouldn’t have them. I’m sure that one play by Anderson cost them the game. Right. They lost by 30+

  6. Am I the only one that thought Cam mailed it in. I thought the reason for not starting was the dew rag he was wearing at warm up with tails hanging out, because I didn’t see it when he did join the team for play.
    Just saying because it isn’t like he couldn’t go buy a shirt and tie.

  7. “There were a lot of ties I was given but I can’t wear a tie with this. ”
    Yeah… wouldn’t want your outfit to look goofy or anything, Cam. What an egocentric punk!

  8. rageviral says:
    Dec 5, 2016 6:19 AM
    Lucky he doesn’t get benched every game with the crap he wears.

    You must live under a ROCK every city the youth dresses like him not the same name brand but the same look, but James harden and Russell westbrook are a couple of other famous guys that come to my mind!!!

  9. Yes.

    I am sure that during the course of a week after you realized your mistake of sending away your dirty clothes (if that was actually the case) that you could not send a staffer out to buy a shirt and tie.

    Most likely there was even some sort of apparel place in the resort where the team was staying.

    I would surmise this boils down to Cam not wanting to follow the rules and he was called on it,

  10. The other 50 players managed to find a tie. Cam has been in a tailspin since the super bowl fiasco. He doesn’t look like he’s coming out of it any time soon. He just doesn’t show the mentality of a leader. And for those who didn’t see Anderson’s interception, it was a perfectly thrown ball that bounced off the RBs hands.

  11. Didn’t I see Cam Newton flossing his teeth on the sidelines on NATIONAL TV in the first game of the season AT Broncos?

    Didn’t Cam Newton and his Panthers BLOW THEIR LEAD on NATIONAL TV in the first game of the season AT Broncos?

    Yeah, the Panthers coach ain’t the problem.

  12. Probably showed up in a ridiculous bow tie. All kidding aside, 6’5″ isn’t exactly amazonian proportions man. I’ll bet that you weren’t staying at a Motel 6 and that the concierge could have produced s full 3 piece suit if that was the whole problem. I’m inclined to think that you being a hole was the problem though.

  13. No, you didn’t lose the game because of it. You lost because you quit and your coach quit. Like how “Riverboat Ron” punted from Seattle territory when you were down 30. Real gutsy. What a joke of a team.

  14. Give the man a break*. There have been too many ties in the NFL this season.

    *Notice I called him a man and not a “kid”, which many TV and radio pundits are wont to do, despite the fact that every single player in the NFL is, indeed, a grown man.

  15. Well that worked out well didn’t it?

    Rivera is just grasping at straws at this point and who can blame him…their season ended a couple weeks ago at least.

    Teach that dog to hunt and trade him while he still has some MVP shine left on him.

  16. If they benched camera for not wearing a tie and not for all the clown suits he’s worn b4 than…’

  17. WOW…I’m in the business to show accountability, and to come across that you sent all your clothes to Seattle AND that you are 6’5 and basically could not find a shirt???

    CAM turn to camera one for a second, lean in, I got something to tell you….YOU have millions of dollars!!! There are several thousand stores in the south California area….BUY a shirt and Tie, then put on one of your idiotic jackets to cover it up…
    I could care less if he’s in a tie, not in a tie… but to make excuses on your height, the luggage, the tie…it makes you less accountable and makes me wonder if you are a real leader

  18. he is an otherworldly talent but the leadership part has always been a question . He should lead by example and should not need to coach to tell him how to dress . He often looks like he dressed out of a pile of rejects from the goodwill bin and if the panthers fire rivera for trying to reign in this clown then they deserve to go 5-11 every year . He is a typical good time charlie who is awesome when things are going well and 1st in the foxhole when they are going poorly.

  19. Traveling dress code…on a chartered plane…on a bus…that pulls into the stadium…that the players walk to the locker room…and change. Yet the “punishment ” is not playing the first series or was it going to be one play? Wonder what the other guys thought about it. Bet if they were 10-2, ol’ Riverboat wouldn’t have given a squirrel poot.

  20. For the people who are saying “just buy a shirt”, many football players have to buy custom shirts due to their arms… more specifically, arm muscles. Even regular “big & tall” shirts won’t fit.

    That said, Cam broke a team rule. Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has the NFL shield at the 50 on his field because he says no team is bigger than the league. Rivera just showed no player is bigger than the team.

  21. I can only imagine the fortune he’s thrown away on those ridiculous looking outfits he wears. I get the feeling he’ll wish he could get that money back after he retires.

  22. Okay so when did all of the PFT commentors turn into old “stay off my lawn” men? Seriously.. it’s like 90% of the comments on every article, i cannot relate to.. the comment sections use to be awesome here. Even if the comments were in disagreement to the stance of the author or player writen about, there was aleast humor there. Now everyone that comments here is old, grumpy, and cannot relate to the midset of anyone born after 1980.

  23. I didn’t see the game, but looking at the box score, I can see why Cam would be talking about dress code and not performance(or lack there of)

  24. Cam,
    Sorry that we’re such barbarians on the West Coast and have no place to buy these “tie” things you speak of. Even if we did, we know that you’re too busy practicing, watching film and preparing for the next game that you couldn’t possibly find time to buy another. Unfortunately, your paltry salary doesn’t allow you the money to hire someone else to get you one while you’re busy. And we’re sorry that your ego is so big that you couldn’t see your way past borrowing one from a teammate.

    All in all, a terrible situation. We feel so badly for you. Perhaps you could do that dabbing thing that you did last year and make us feel better.

  25. Typical of Cam to discuss this with the media. Any other top-tier QB would’ve just said it was an internal punishment and moved on. Nope, Cam had to throw coach Rivera under the bus just to make himself look better. Thanks, Cam.

  26. judging from his play the rest of the game, it looked like he was going through the motions.

    this guy is the hardest player in the league to figure out. he looks like he gets it one day, and then for the next week he looks like RG3 with the inflated sense of self…

    think last season was the high tide and his ego will take him down the rabbit hole along with many others before him (t.o., ocho, tiki, and a thousand others).

  27. So there’s no big & tall stores in CA?
    No concierge service or clothing shop in the hotel?
    How about the concierge service on that NFLPA credit card?
    Tough times when a multimillionaire can’t get a shirt and tie. Even tougher when he can’t be bothered to.

  28. Are you kidding? The momentum of a game in the NFL can rest on the opening decisions that potentially give opposing players the psychological advantage and/or letting them know the day’s competition is not going to be a piece of cake. This opening psychology starts even at the level of High School play, so why a coach would not save his notification of punishment until he returned home is incomprehensible. A freaking ego-trip may have cost this coach an important game as well as being a potential question mark on his fitness to coach men.

  29. >”abninf says:
    Dec 5, 2016 8:10 AM
    I can only imagine the fortune he’s thrown away on those ridiculous looking outfits he wears. I get the feeling he’ll wish he could get that money back after he retires.

    ________________________________________

    Nah, he won’t feel that way until after he retires – when it’s too late. If he was smart enough to realize it now, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now, would we?

  30. and in a weeks time he didn’t have time to buy a tie. BS. Just more tension, more bucking authority, that shows why crybaby Newton will never win the big one. Too much ego for that talent to carry.

  31. cafetero1075 says:
    Dec 5, 2016 8:10 AM
    Not a good decision. I think a fine would be approriate.
    ********************************************
    Something tells me this was not the first rules violation for Cam, but Rivera has too much class to discuss it in the media… not so for the diva who pouted (and threw fits – literally) on national TV during the SB.

  32. How tough would it have been to come up with a tie? No teammate or coach had an extra? There was no gopher who could have been sent out to get one? The hotel couldn’t have found one for him? I’m betting for the price of a selfie the hotel manager would have taken off his tie and handed it to Cam.

  33. mogogo1 says:
    Dec 5, 2016 9:23 AM
    How tough would it have been to come up with a tie? No teammate or coach had an extra? There was no gopher who could have been sent out to get one? The hotel couldn’t have found one for him? I’m betting for the price of a selfie the hotel manager would have taken off his tie and handed it to Cam.
    *********************************************

    Do you know how much ties cost these days? lol

  34. @ openfieldtackle says:
    Dec 5, 2016 6:23 AM

    Cam is full of BS. If the rules are in place simply pack a shirt with a tie and don’t bring the “tank top” with you.
    People want this guy discussed in the same way as Brady, Rogers and Big Ben. He will never be that type of leader.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Big Ben? The one who had multiple sexual assault allegations made against him? Exhibit his leadership? Or more like when he crashed his motorcycle?

  35. If you read his statement, he says he takes accountability then says I wore this before and there was no issue and then “it is what it is”

    He really does not get it. Something tells me the benching was for more than just the tie.

  36. This is just a distraction from what we should really be talking about. Cam Newton isn’t a good football player. The QB position is 90% mental, and something is wrong with this guy. I’m strictly talking about his play on the field. I’m not pointing fingers at anyone or going to start calling Cam bad names because I’m not there, but his play has declined faster than I’ve ever seen a QB decline.

  37. @ cras108er says:
    Dec 5, 2016 9:22 AM

    cafetero1075 says:
    Dec 5, 2016 8:10 AM
    Not a good decision. I think a fine would be approriate.
    ********************************************
    Something tells me this was not the first rules violation for Cam, but Rivera has too much class to discuss it in the media… not so for the diva who pouted (and threw fits – literally) on national TV during the SB.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Actually it was Rivera that told Michele Tofoya (NBC TV Sideline reporter) that Cam was benched for breaking a team rule, a dress code violation. So much for the “class” you claim he exhibited. I don’t care that he mentioned it, but you’re giving him credit for not discussing it…well he did…before Cam could.

  38. @akira1971 says:
    Dec 5, 2016 8:50 AM

    Typical of Cam to discuss this with the media. Any other top-tier QB would’ve just said it was an internal punishment and moved on. Nope, Cam had to throw coach Rivera under the bus just to make himself look better. Thanks, Cam.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^So was it Cam or Coach Rivera that told Michele Tofoya at halftime that it was a dress code violation?

  39. Cam’s excuse “doesn’t hold water”…My Cousin Vinny managed to find a suit and tie to wear to court!

  40. He IS RGIII with more talent. He’s not a degenerate, just that special millennial whose more unique then the less special millennials. He had ties given, but it wasn’t appropriate to what he was wearing..

    You know damn well this wasn’t “just because of his tie”. He just can’t break away from the mirrors gaze. He is so far above and beyond everyone else. Such enlightenment.

    Like Bob is Socrates of Twitter, so is Cam to fashion. Even the towel over his head to look like he’s wearing a hoodie. That first move on the sideline, instead of going to the offensive meeting and getting some in game adjustments…

    Narcissus gaze……

  41. He’s talking out of the both sides of his arse. While acknowledging that he’s abiding and respecting Rivera’s decision, he’s making excuses why a multimillionaire can’t find clothes that fit him in the Bay area. Just stop talking Cam.

  42. So if Cam didn’t discuss it with the media, he would have been criticized for not answering questions…

  43. QCsteel55 says:
    Dec 5, 2016 8:23 AM

    Okay so when did all of the PFT commentors turn into old “stay off my lawn” men? Seriously.. it’s like 90% of the comments on every article, i cannot relate to.. the comment sections use to be awesome here. Even if the comments were in disagreement to the stance of the author or player writen about, there was aleast humor there. Now everyone that comments here is old, grumpy, and cannot relate to the midset of anyone born after 1980.

    —————

    Nope. The site is now populated by millennials who don’t believe the world existed before 1980. They just need to find a safe space, bake some cookies and invite their friends over for a cry-in.

  44. Cam’s greater-than-the-team schtick is wearing thin especially with the team underperforming. I feel bad for Kuechly… the wheels are coming off and there’s nothing he can do about it.

  45. As usual, Newton doesn’t believe the rules apply to him. Every piece of clothing he wears is carefully, carefully chosen and choreographed. That he “forgot” his tie, Ha, ha, ha! Calling BS on that one.

  46. Big Ben? The one who had multiple sexual assault allegations made against him? Exhibit his leadership? Or more like when he crashed his motorcycle?

    ***********************************************
    My god, how long ago was that? Give it a rest already. Yes, Ben may have exhibited some immature behavior early in his career, but the guy has ALWAYS taken responsibility for his behaviors (even then), his poor performances, and even the bad performances of his teammates. Its called leadership.

    When Cam starts exhibiting some maturity, maybe people will speak differently of him too, but for the time being, “he’s who we thought he was.”

  47. If you’re going to have rules, then there have to be consequences for guys not following them. But the real question is, should the team be telling its players, who are grown men with all of the responsibilities of adulthood, how they should be dressing – not on the job but during travel? I say no.

  48. Why didn’t Cam call his buddy Roger and ask him to send over a shirt? As quick as Goodell was to take Cam’s phone call, I’m sure he would have had a shirt and tie sent right over.

    What a joke of an excuse. So everyone else on the team is able to send their clothes to Seattle but still keep a shirt for this trip. But not Cam. The one guy on the team who is supposed to “see” all potential defensive setups and change plays accordingly, can’t plan for this. Thean-boy is no leader.

    As for Rivera, he too made a mistake. cam should have been benched for the quarter. One series taught no lesson.

  49. We need more Rivera men, fathers, leaders, etc. to raise their sons not based on the ability to perform but on an agreed set of protocols. Whether they lead to a win or not is secondary in the decisions of character men. I applaud coach Rivera!!

  50. jonwill57 says:
    ^^^^^^^So was it Cam or Coach Rivera that told Michele Tofoya at halftime that it was a dress code violation?
    ————-
    I’m talking about Cam’s passive-aggressive response: “If coach didn’t feel like I was dressed appropriately then I wasn’t”.

    No, the right answer is “I was wrong to violate a team rule and it won’t happen again.” Instead, Cam tried to blame it on coach Rivera for making the decision.

  51. 40-7

    The quarterbacks on these two teams couldn’t be any more different. Russell is a selfless stud that the entire team loves and trusts to lead them…then there is Cam.

    Cam knew the rules and showed up in a T-shirt. Total disrespect.

    4-8 …Carolina sucks and it is the qb that is one of the big problems.

  52. QCsteel55 says:
    Dec 5, 2016 8:23 AM
    Okay so when did all of the PFT commentors turn into old “stay off my lawn” men? Seriously.. it’s like 90% of the comments on every article, i cannot relate to.. the comment sections use to be awesome here. Even if the comments were in disagreement to the stance of the author or player writen about, there was aleast humor there. Now everyone that comments here is old, grumpy, and cannot relate to the midset of anyone born after 1980
    ========================
    My 6 kids are all millennials and they want you “off their lawn” too.

    Now if only I could get one of them to root for the Patriots…..

  53. I find it so hilarious that people bring up Brady, Big Ben, Peyton, and Rodgers as the definition of “class”. Brady has cheated his whole career and whines non-stop to refs. They literally made a rule just because of him lol Big Ben has had sexual cases against him and crashed his motorcyle. Peyton sexually harrassed a trainer back in college and tried to keep it a secret this whole time, not to mention walking off the field without shaking Brees hand after his superbowl L. And then there’s Rodgers who throws tantrums on the sidelines and throws laptops, while also doing his discount double check when he scores.

    Look, I’m not a Cam fan, but you people are delusional if you think Cam is the only QB in the NFL to act like a diva. ALL Qb’s are divas.

  54. Insane way to show authority. Jason Garrett kicked two players off the team a couple of years ago over the same thing. I don’t think the Panthers would have won anyway, but I think that move and that first play took all life out of Cam and out of the entire team. As a coach, you find a way not to penalize the entire team. The first series is very important. There are plenty of other ways to punish players for rules violations. If you’re not smart enough to find a way to punish 1 player without punishing the other 52, then something is wrong. I recall Jimmy Johnson kicking a player off the team for falling asleep during a classroom session, but it was a player with no chance to make the team. He was the first to admit had it been a key player, he wouldn’t have done it. If there are other problems, you deal with them on their own. But when you make a tie a major issue, you’ve taken all attention of your entire team away from what they need to focus on, the game.

  55. We need more Rivera men, fathers, leaders, etc. to raise their sons not based on the ability to perform but on an agreed set of protocols. Whether they lead to a win or not is secondary in the decisions of character men. I applaud coach Rivera!!
    *********************************************
    Actually Coach Rivera WAS THINKING about winning. Don’t kid yourself, this is a multibillion dollar industry. People who can’t win, lose their jobs. Coaches aren’t there to develop character (that’s the job of high school and pee wee league coaches). Rivera just knows that a team without discipline, especially from one of its leaders, is doomed to failure – kind of like the Panthers this year.

  56. No teammates or coaches had a spare tie? The hotel couldn’t help him out? The team doesn’t have any gophers who could have gotten him one? If he makes any effort at all he either comes up with one or Rivera lets him slide because he shows he tried to get one. My money is the first time any coach heard about the problem is when he showed up.

  57. I think a lot more of Coach Ron Rivera for his stance. If a coach doesn’t enforce the rules, discipline leaves. No player, no matter how valuable, should be allowed to flaunt the rules, regardless of the player’s opinion of the rules.

    Two thumbs up, Coach Rivera.

    Cam, time to grow up. Why allow trivial things to trip you up and cause you to lose influence?

  58. We need more Rivera men, fathers, leaders, etc. to raise their sons not based on the ability to perform but on an agreed set of protocols. Whether they lead to a win or not is secondary in the decisions of character men. I applaud coach Rivera!!
    **********************************************
    Wait a minute! exactly when did you think he was going to have time to go find a shirt and tie? They were practicing for what, 3-4 hours a day? SMH

  59. I thought “Superman” was allowed to wear a cape? You can’t mix a tie in with a cape, fashion faux pas.

  60. thisguy124: Digging up dirt on every great QB you can think of has nothing to do with being a “diva” or a player’s behavior in the locker room or on the field. All of those QB’s are proven winners and champions and were outstanding team mates by all accounts.
    Cam is nowhere near as good as anyone of those players, acts like a spoiled brat when he loses and by all accounts is not a great locker room guy. And if you really want to dig up dirt, Cam Newton the laptop thief is hardly the guy you want to be defending.

  61. This whole situation played out wonderfully. Commentators talked about Cam not starting, the interception, Cam’s reaction. Wonderful television!

  62. “What it is, is one of the most bizarre coaching decisions in the history of the NFL. The league’s reigning Most Valuable Player was benched over his clothing.”

    No, that’s not what it is at all. It’s exacting a penalty for violating a team rule. Period.

    Unless, of course, you think a team would be better served by having a tiered set of rules based on a player’s standing with the team?

  63. thisguy124: Digging up dirt on every great QB you can think of has nothing to do with being a “diva” or a player’s behavior in the locker room or on the field. All of those QB’s are proven winners and champions and were outstanding team mates by all accounts.
    Cam is nowhere near as good as anyone of those players, acts like a spoiled brat when he loses and by all accounts is not a great locker room guy. And if you really want to dig up dirt, Cam Newton the laptop thief is hardly the guy you want to be defending.
    —————————————————-
    There has NEVER, I repeat, NEVER any instance where one of his teammates has ever said anything bad about Newton since entering the NFL. His own teammates bat for him all the time, including Olsen. So where is this “bad teammate” coming from? Oh yeah that’s right, PFT posters making up stuff again to validate their own belief. Look, the shtick is old. All you old white people STILL salty about Cam since his rookie year, this year is just fuel to the fire. These are NFL players, they don’t care what us average people think.

  64. deuce2222 says:
    Dec 5, 2016 6:14 AM
    Great coaching decision. Don’t follow the rules, you get punished. Doesn’t matter how trivial they are perceived to be.
    ——–
    Yeah, right. Tell that to Wall Street!

  65. Whether you agree with it or not Cam you as the starting QB and NFL MVP you set the example for your team mates as their leader. Being a leader is sometimes about doing the right thing with the little things that are required.

    Besides, I am sure it was not a mystery that you had a dress code. I can’t see Rivera being unclear about that.

  66. It’s a lost year ffs. He’s a diva and needs to be a man! He had to sit A play!

    Please cry over him instead of one our bravest whose lost life or limb….

  67. from John Madden’s book: “My Raiders never believed any of that bunk that Suits & Ties equate to discipline. We had some wild guys on those teams, but to us, Discipline meant NEVER jumping off-sides on 3rd & 1 when the fans are screaming so loud you can’t hear yourself think … that’s something we took great pride in … you just never saw us jumping off-sides in the clutch”.

  68. some restaurants that require a suit coat have a few extra laying around in case, you know, human error occurs.

    for ron boat it was a pure power thing, not a dress code thing, otherwise he would have a box of extra ties laying around for occasions like this.

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