The teen called Newton “ass” in a social media post that quickly spread throughout the internet. In the first viral video, Newton could be seen informing the player that he was rich, while asking where his father was. Later, Newton released a video recorded by his production team that showed him calmly speaking with the teenager, asking questions about the team and his performance that day.
In a second video released to Facebook, Newton — seated on a chair and smoking a cigar — wanted to clear one thing up first.
“For the record, that was not my football camp,” Newton said. “It was just a 7-on-7 tournament in Myrtle Beach that three of my All-Star teams had a tournament at. And for people who know about my 7-on-7 program, there’s nothing that happens from practice to events to even tournaments that I’m not a part of. I’m very hands-on with that, been doing that for 11 years now, and plan on keep doing that. And that’s my way of giving back to the community.”
More importantly, however, Newton wanted to make a point about viral moments in the modern age.
“I’m just lucky to have had a production team on hand to be able to tell my side of the story,” Newton said. “Because I’ve had situations in years past where, you know, things have gotten out of hand or things that were posted off a phone, and the context was missed from my vantage point.”
As Newton noted, events can go viral at a moment’s notice — something the teenager, who later apologized for his actions, might not have realized.
“He just thought something to be innocent and a joke led to him being kind of ran through the mud with, ‘Man, he doesn’t have any respect,'” Newton said. “But I would like to say this, for all the kids that watch this, let this be a lesson. And for my man from Philly repping 215, there’s no hard feelings. I was just trying to give him a platform to say where he was from. I’m used to having that type of dialogue with kids. This is not my first rodeo. I know what being 16, 17 is like.
“I respect the fact that he did send an apology, and there’s no love lost.”
Newton said the teenager took the attention as an attempt to try him.
“That’s the disconnect with this day and age and the kids that’s coming up, because they feel tried when — as an adult or as a man — you’re talking to him,” Newton said.
Newton said if the teen had simply yelled football trash talk (“My team is gonna beat your team’s ass”), he would have seen it as good and competitive. Instead, he believes the player may have missed an opportunity.
“Instead of taking things so offensive, as a younger generation, take it as, ‘I’m really trying to put you on game,'” Newton said. “That was your opportunity to be sought after as a college recruit, that was your opportunity to make everybody aware at that camp that ‘I’m here.’
“I expect the kids to learn from this and say, ‘Look, bro, if I’m in the presence of somebody like that, bro, not only will I respect him as a human being but I respect him as you know the path that he’s allowed me to have as well.'”
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