CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Less than 48 hours after losing Super Bowl 50, Cam Newton spoke to the media in Charlotte on Tuesday and addressed criticism surrounding his play during the game and his actions after the game.
Newton was widely criticized for walking out of his postgame press conference after the Panthers lost to the Broncos 24-10. On Tuesday, Newton addressed the criticism.
“I have seen so much about it. I have seen so much blown out of proportion. At the end of the day, when you invest so much time and sacrifice so much… and things don’t go as planned… I think emotions take over. I think that’s what happens. As far as trying to be like this person or that person, I heard numerous quotes about ‘What if this person was in that situation? How would he have handled? Well we’ve seen this person do that… how would he have handled it?’ The truth of the matter is, I’m not trying to be this person or that person. I have said it since day one, I am who I am. I know what I’m capable of… and I know where I’m going. And I don’t have to conform to anyone else’s wants for me.”
More from Newton:
“I’m human. I have never once said that I was perfect. I have never proclaimed that I was perfect. But at the end of the day, people pick… and do things of that sort. The truth of the matter is, who are you to say that your way is right? That’s what I don’t understand. We have all these people condemning and saying this… But what makes your way right?”
Newton reiterated he has no regrets about how he handled his postgame press conference.
"I've been on record as being a sore loser. Who likes to lose? You show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser," Newton said. “I am here to win football games… for this organization, for Mr. Richardson, for my teammates… and for my fans. They know what’s real. And I leave everything else out on the field. I prepare the right way. I have a mentality.. I have a standard that I set for myself. And I’m not going to bend or break.”
"If I offended somebody, that's cool...but I know who I am. And I'm not about to conform nor bend for anyone else's expectations. Because yours or anyone else's expectations will never exceed mine."
"If you want me to be this type of person, I'm not that. And I'm happy to say that. This league is a great league with or without me. And I am my own person, and I take pride in that." Newton added, "...before you are quick to assume anything, what makes your way right?"
Newton addressed people who criticized his "lack of effort" to recover a fumble late in the fourth quarter.
"I don't dive on one fumble because the way my leg was -- it could have been (contorted) in a way. Okay, you say my effort. I didn't dive down. I fumbled. That's fine. But we didn't lose that game because of that fumble. I can tell you that," Newton said.
Newton also addressed the Panthers incredible regular season.
"An unbelievable season. We did what a lot of people didn't think we could do," Newton said. He added, "We will be back, and I mean that. Nobody's expectations (for this team) exceed mine."
Ron Rivera defended Newton, saying that he is a competitor who wants to win and the criticism has been "unfair."
"You don't know the young man. Losing is not an easy thing," Rivera said.
Greg Olsen, who also spoke to the media on Tuesday, described the narrative that Newton "didn't care" enough to dive on the fumble as "comical."
"If anyone wants to question Newton putting his body on the line, they obviously haven't watched... and that narrative is comical," Olsen said.
Rivera also said he's excited about the future of the Panthers and hopes the team can learn from the Broncos.
"I believe in this football team. I believe in who we have," Rivera said. "(The Broncos) lost the Super Bowl two years ago and came back and won it."