Cam Newton Photo credit: Cam Newton

After sparking a sports medja firestorm for labeling NFL MVP candidates “game managers,” Cam Newton responded to the backlash by calling out ESPN and FS1.

Last week, Newton claimed quarterbacks Jared Goff, Dak Prescott, Brock Purdy and Tua Tagovailoa are “game managers,” not “game changers.” Newton proceeded to get blasted for the take by commentators on ESPN and FS1 including Kimberley A. Martin, Domonique Foxworth, Skip Bayless and Jason McIntyre. But Newton was more bothered by the fact that some of their responses weren’t aimed at his take, they were aimed at him personally.

“The thing that I have a problem with is, address the point that I made, not me,” Newton said. “And often times that happens in regards of athletes trying to make their point.”

During his response, Newton played some of the personal attacks from talking heads on ESPN and FS1 that were uttered about him in recent days before clarifying what he meant by “game manager,” insisting the term shouldn’t assume any negative connotation.

“My definition of that managing player is a player who has the ability to make the right play at the right time, protecting the football at all costs,” Newton said. “When I think about ultimate elite game managers, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady.”

There’s clearly a discrepancy in what “game manager” means when referring to a NFL quarterback. Newton will probably have trouble finding people to support his thought that Peyton Manning and Tom Brady were game managers throughout their illustrious NFL careers. But the take still doesn’t warrant people on ESPN making fun of his attire or comparing him to an internet troll sitting in their parents’ basement.

“I’m looking at a guy by the name of Burke Magnus. Head guy over at ESPN. Norby Williamson, these people have been at ESPN for 29 years, 38 years,” Newton said. “Now let’s go to Fox. Undisputed. That’s ran by a guy by the name of Eric Shanks and also, Charlie Dixon…they’ve been able to identify this merit that when I do it, it’s a problem. But when the major networks do it, that’s just how it goes.”

Newton seems to be alleging major networks are deciding who can and can’t talk about athletes, claiming being attached to ESPN or FS1 is the only merit a person needs to talk about sports. To sort of support Newton’s point, Dan Orlovsky spent years talking Dak Prescott down on ESPN without being compared to an internet troll. Newton called Dak Prescott a “game manager” once and he was mocked on ESPN for hours.

“You got major networks still talking about a player who hasn’t played in roughly two and a half, three years. And you will want the narrative to be, ‘Oh, Cam’s bitter. Oh Cam’s mad. Cam’s hating on Dak, Cam’s hating on Brock. Cam’s just mad that he’s not in the league.’ Let’s stop that,” Newton said. “Louis, Kimberley, Colin. Let’s stop that. And most of the people who had their two cents to say something about Cam and his outfits and his hats and his ego and his pride, are merely just guys or gals and can be, and probably will be replaced. Harsh! But it’s the truth.”

“If you take Stuart Scott off ESPN, god rest his soul, it’s a different show. You take Shannon Sharpe off Undisputed, it’s a different show,” Newton continued. “These guys are game changers. I respect all commentators who have an opinion about a game they never played. But my issue comes when I start seeing commentators speak about a person who actually played the game and has his opinion to be had. That’s my issue. Here I am, no different than anybody else, that the overarching theme is, we all want our opinions to matter or want our opinions to be heard.”

If a former NFL MVP and Heisman Trophy winner who lead teams to a national championship and Super Bowl appearance can’t talk about current quarterbacks, no one should be able to. Regardless of who owns your platform.

[Cam Newton]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to