Following one of the best regular seasons in modern-day football, Cam Newton‘s Carolina Panthers lost to NFL veteran Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

After taking the summer off to recoup and train, Newton is ready to put up some major numbers again, and spoke to GQ about the trials and tribulations of last season.

One of his lowest points was failing to win the Super Bowl, which he admits was very emotional for him.

A lot of emotion. We play the game to win. And we didn’t. I could care less. You know, what a person says to me, says about me — if it’s not coming out of Chosen’s mouth.… That’s what the birth of my son does. Like, what do I gain? Now I have purpose in this world. Whether a mean tweet, a mean [person] saying, ‘Hey, you’re supposed to do it like this’ — if my son ain’t saying it, then it don’t matter to me.”

Many people found issue with the 27-year-old being so animated on the field, with plenty believing that race played a huge part in how the media and fans belittled him.

Last January Newton said, “I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to.”

But when asked about that comment recently, the quarterback seemed to feel differently. Read the exchange with GQ below:

GQ: Do you feel like football fans are racist toward you?

CN: It’s not racism. Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion.

GQ: So if it’s not that, what is it, do you think?

CN: I’ll let you be the judge. I don’t look at it like that. I look at it like some people have certain beliefs, and I have my own belief, and we can agree to disagree on certain things. But this is what makes sports so amazing, that we can start a discussion around a table, in the newspaper, in the magazines, that will get people’s attention. And that’s what sports does.

GQ: In January, right before the Super Bowl, you said: ‘I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to.’

CN: I don’t want this to be about race, because it’s not. It’s not. Like, we’re beyond that. As a nation.

GQ: You really think so?

CN: Yeah. I mean, you bring it to people’s attention. But after that, that’s it.

While it’s not clear if Newton was tired of talking about the subject or if he truly feels that way, Twitter was ready for it:

Read the rest of Cam Newton’s controversial interview with GQ here.



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