BOSTON (CBS) — Cam Newton made some news this week for getting heckled — and responding — while coaching a team in a 7-on-7 tournament.
The story gained quite a bit of attention, both for the heckling itself and for Newton’s amused response. It led to Newton sharing a longer clip of him talking to the teenager after the game, and it later involved that teen posting a public apology for disrespecting Newton.READ MORE: It's Time To 'Move On' From Outdoor Mask Mandates, Infectious Disease Doctor Says
Now a few days removed from the interaction, the 31-year-old quarterback released a 7-minute video on Facebook titled “My Side Of The Story.”
“This was a learning lesson for me, and I know it was a learning lesson for the young man,” Newton said. “But from where I see it is I’m a father. For my kids to be able to tap into their competitive drive and to understand that nobody’s going to tap you on your shoulder and say, ‘Bro, this is about to go viral!’ You just have to know. And we live in a day and age where a viral moment can happen just off the fingertips of your phone. And it’s not like back in the day where you literally had to have the camcorder to capture everything.”
Newton said he respected the fact that the young man issued an apology.
“There’s no love lost, because that wasn’t the only tournament that I’ve been to that I was heckled. And I know that that’s not going to be the last tournament that I go to that I’ll be heckled as well,” Newton said. “That’s just all in the game and that’s why I respect it.”READ MORE: Boston Police Arrest Uber Driver Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Woman
With Newton spending a lot of time coaching and mentoring young football players, he hopes the viral interaction can serve as a learning moment for all young players.
“I expect the kids to learn from this and say, ‘Look bro, if I’m in the presence of somebody like that, not only will I respect him as a human being, but I respect the path that he’s allowing me to have as well,'” Newton said.
Newton, who’s been in the public eye for quite a long time, sympathized with the young player, whom he characterized as “not knowing what he was getting himself into.”
“I’m a public figure. I am an athlete that’s constantly being critiqued, analyzed, and observed on a day-to-day basis. He just thought something to be innocent and a joke led to him kind of rang through the mud with he doesn’t have any respect. I would like to say this for all the kids that watch this: Let this be a lesson. And for a man from Philly repping 2-1-5, there’s no hard feelings. And I was just trying to give him a platform to say where he was from. And I’m used to having that type of dialogue with kids. Like this is not my first rodeo. I know what being 16, 17 is like. And with that being said, what I was looking for him to say and do, he wasn’t doing it.”
Newton said that the whole situation shows that there’s always an opportunity to be better.MORE NEWS: GoFundMe Pages For Pembroke Crash Victims Raise Over $200,000
“We as a society need to be better,” Newton said. “But also the younger generation, you guys gotta be better, too.”