Cam Newton is likely none of those things, but his post-Super Bowl press conference left lingering doubts in the eyes of his fans and critics.
Newton’s curt, one-word responses to reporters’ questions and hasty retreat from the microphone have reversed the field of public opinion about the player and his character. Losing is no fun for anyone—much less a confident, personable and engaging athlete who truly believed his time had come.
When a lively athlete like Newton turns sullen, withdrawn and combative within a matter of hours, does he lose much more than the Super Bowl? Did Cam Newton’s defining moment in the spotlight forever paints him as a bitter, unsportsmanlike diva who can’t handle the disappointment of losing?
I won’t break down the reasons why Newton’s Carolina Panthers failed to win the championship—I’m far more familiar with the “Xs” and “Os” of PR strategy. So, here’s a look at how Newton could have still won hearts and minds even after losing on the field: