After Cam Newton scored a fourth-quarter touchdown Sunday against the Titans, he embarked on an elaborate series of dance moves, a routine that, while not unusual for him, was one very much not appreciated by Tennessee defenders. Following the game, which saw the Panthers run their record to 9-0, the Carolina quarterback got dinged by plenty of other observers for what they deemed to be excessive celebrating.
For one Nashville resident, Newton’s end-zone antics weren’t just obnoxious — they were something close to traumatic for her nine-year-old daughter, who was attending her first NFL game. In an open letter published Tuesday by the Charlotte Observer, Titans fan Rosemary Plorin aired a lengthy list of grievances, which included her dismay at how the Panthers quarterback exposed her daughter to “pelvic thrusts.”
Here are some excerpts:
Dear Mr. Newton,
Congratulations on your win in Nashville today. Our team played well, but yours played better. Kudos to the Panthers organization.
That game happened to be my nine year old daughter’s first live NFL experience. …
Because of where we sat, we had a close up view of your conduct in the fourth quarter. The chest puffs. The pelvic thrusts. The arrogant struts and the ‘in your face’ taunting of both the Titans’ players and fans. We saw it all. …
With everything the NFL has gone through in recent years, I’m confident they have advised that you are, by virtue of your position and career choice, a role model. …
Some of the Panthers fans in our section began taunting the hometown fans. Many Titans fans booed you, a few offering instructive, but not necessarily family friendly, suggestions as to how you might change your behavior.
My daughter sensed the change immediately – and started asking questions. Won’t he get in trouble for doing that? Is he trying to make people mad? Do you think he knows he looks like a spoiled brat?
I didn’t have great answers for her, and honestly, in an effort to minimize your negative impact and what was otherwise a really fun day, I redirected her attention to the cheerleaders and mascot. …
I don’t know about your family life Mr. Newton, but I think I’m safe in saying thousands of kids watch you every week. You have amazing talent and an incredible platform to be a role model for them. Unfortunately, what you modeled for them today was egotism, arrogance and poor sportsmanship.
Is that what your coaches and mentors modeled for you, Mr. Newton?
And with that, Plorin returned to the 1950s. Okay, in fairness, she’s hardly the only person offended by Newton’s dance routine. As mentioned, Titans players didn’t like it — although, given that the touchdown essentially sealed their loss, they presumably weren’t in the best of moods, anyway — and Tennessee Coach Mike Mularkey said after the game, “It’s not taunting, but in my mind, it is.”
In addition, plenty of folks outside the NFL, including some well-known media pundits, tut-tutted Newton’s act. But there is also plenty of reason to question why this Titans fan is apparently more outraged by Newton’s dancing than by other possible issues.
For instance, she mentions some other Titans fans responding to Newton’s act in a “not necessarily family friendly” manner. Is it really the quarterback’s fault that some people in the stands couldn’t restrain themselves from hurling profanities while in the vicinity of a young girl?
Also, are cheerleaders far better role models for her nine-year-old daughter? Their only job at games is to dance, as opposed to Newton’s celebrations of his occasional touchdowns, and they are doing it while wearing next to nothing and (if cases involving other NFL teams are any indication) for scandalously low wages.
Plorin herself alludes to some of the player-related incidents that have recently tarnished the NFL’s image, so one might think she’d appreciate the fact that, dancing aside, Newton has never been linked to any sordid episodes, such as domestic violence, while in the league.
As for the dancing, Plorin doesn’t seem to take exception to what the Titans’ own Avery Williamson did after a sack of Newton Sunday, when the linebacker took the opportunity to perform a version of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” routine. As fate would have it, Williamson was the first Tennessee player to get in the quarterback’s face after his touchdown.
Then again, Williamson’s schtick was probably just fine because it lacked any of those awful pelvic thrusts. I didn’t actually see Newton do many of those, either, but since I wasn’t at the game, perhaps I missed the part when he gave the crowd a rendition of “Hound Dog.” It’s a darn good thing Plorin was never exposed to Von Miller’s sack celebration.
In any event, the Panthers, who might be in a better position to tell Newton to dial it back, don’t seem to mind his end-zone moves at all. At least, not if the team’s official Twitter account is any indication.
(H/T SB Nation)