Cam Newton on Chosen, Colin Kaepernick & More

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Cam Newton is growing up. The hot-shot college baller, who once told me he compared his NFL expectations to “instant grits,” and got frustrated when it didn’t happen that quickly, now seems to have his feet more firmly underneath him. His expectations in check.

The change has less to do with football, than it does fatherhood. Cam’s son, Chosen, was born eight months ago.

I asked him, “What were some of the names that were on your list but didn’t make the cut?” Cam says, “Junior. I didn’t want none of my kids to have my name. That’s the only thing I can think of. I just wanted him, and all my kids in the future, if I’m blessed to have more, to have their own identity. But the name selection, I wanted (it) to be strong, masculine. I want him to have an understanding that it means something. I just wanted it to be simple, but have a big impact to it.”

I asked, “Are you getting up in the middle of the night with Chosen?” Cam answered, “Yes. When I’m not at work. He stays in Atlanta. So anytime I get off, I’m around him.”

27-year-old Newton is now not just a celebrity role model to thousands of young fans, but also a father to one son during a challenging time in American history. As the world around him takes a stand, or a seat, in San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s case, Cam is reacting.

I asked him, “What do you think of Colin not standing during the Anthem?”

Cam said, “For me, it’s personal. We all live in the United States of America. And for that, who am I to sit here and judge and say that’s wrong? Or to say that’s right? Because the truth of the matter is, it’s the land of the free. And everybody is entitled to their own opinion.” He pointed at his skin and continued, “What I just can’t fathom is how 1/8″ can be the difference in a person thinking certain ways or treating others differently. I was always instilled with the Golden Rule: do unto others as you want them to do unto you. Whether they’re black, white, green, blue, turquoise, orange, it doesn’t matter. You just have to treat people right and that’s what I believe.”

When it comes to football, the question about whether the Carolina Panthers can make it back to the Super Bowl – and win – is looming. I asked him to react to just two words: season opener. He replied firmly, instantly: “Can’t wait.”

Tune into WCCB News Edge Thursday night to hear Cam talk about the brand new food project he’s unveiling in Charlotte. And next Wednesday, the night before the Panthers play the Broncos in Denver, tune into WCCB News @ Ten, Cam re-addresses the question I asked him immediately after the Super Bowl.