Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman continues to slam the never-ending supply of criticism directed toward Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who will play in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday.
“He hasn’t done anything wrong to anyone,” Sherman said, via ESPN.
“He plays the game like a young kid, like a kid’s supposed to play it. This is a game. This isn’t life. This isn’t government. This isn’t military. This isn’t anything that’s that serious. I think people are taking it out of perspective.”
Sherman has defended Newton in the past. Before Carolina beat Seattle in the NFC Divisional Round, Sherman told USA Today that he had no problems with Newton’s dancing—which has been at the center of most of the criticism.
“You get to the end zone, in an NFL game, you get the right to celebrate,” Sherman said. “You’ve worked hard. You’re a professional athlete. If you don’t get a chance to celebrate in the pros, when do you get a chance to celebrate? When do you get to show what you can do – to enjoy yourself?”
Newton threw 35 touchdowns and ran for another 10 during the regular season. He’s added three more passing scores and two rushing touchdowns over Carolina’s two postseason wins, giving him 50 total scores over 18 games in 2015.
During Saturday night’s NFL awards ceremony, Newton will likely be named the league’s most valuable player. The next day, his team will have a chance to become just the fifth team in NFL history to win 18 games in a single season.
So why all the criticism?
“Because he’s unique,” Sherman said, via CBS Seattle. “He’s unique in his talent and personality, and his approach to the game. You know, everybody wants you to follow a certain guideline, certain restrictions — things you can and can’t do, things you can do on the field and things you can’t. And it’s an old school state of mind, you know, a real old-fashioned way of thinking. And I think he breaks a lot of those rules, and makes a lot of people angry who don’t have his talent or his ability or his swagger.”
Newton’s uniqueness has helped mold him into one of the NFL’s most transcendent players. He’ll now get a chance to smile, dance and score touchdowns on the biggest stage when the Panthers take on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday. Win or lose, more criticism from the outside is likely on the horizon.