Good Day, Mr. Newton:
I am writing you in reaction to a photograph of you taken before the Panthers game against the Buffalo Bills. The photograph taken by the Observers Jeff Siner shows you glaring at Kelvin Benjamin of the Bills. Your pose is striking, and the article under the five-column photograph by Joseph Person enflames it.
Since moving to Mooresville a year ago, I have seen many and read some articles concerning you and your role on and off the field. You seem to do much for the city of Charlotte, and I do like your array of hats. I am sure there is much more that you and other teammates of yours do that I am unaware of. I commend you and them for that.
However, I ask you to reconsider such actions as you displayed against Mr. Benjamin, who evidently expressed some “trash talk” about you and the Panthers. As the role model that you are for so many youngsters and even some adults, you missed an excellent opportunity to display the type of attitude and behavior we are told to possess in The Beatitudes in Matthew 5. And, there is the Golden Rule that is a grounded code of conduct.
Mr. Newton, the only source most citizens of Charlotte and the surrounding area have to “know” you is what we see and read and hear in the media. We are not friends with you and few of us have daily conversations of any depth with you. How do I, the local citizen, learn what Mr. Cam Newton is like: The Observer. Perhaps Mr. Siner asked you to approach Mr. Benjamin for a “photo op”, and you were only posing for the camera. Perhaps you took umbrage at Mr. Benjamin’s words. No matter, because countless youngsters will see your photograph and think that the attitude you displayed is the correct reaction to stinging words.
Sadly, the Observer is also partly at fault for this poor modeling. Mr. Person writes that “If anyone thought the Kelvin Benjamin-Cam Newton feud was going to fade quietly into the western New York Night, Newton added some Buffalo hot sauce to the smoldering controversy.” Gosh, Mr. Newton, in my mind, both your pose and Person’s prose belongs on the 5th grade playground, more than in a professional arena and newspaper.
Our country professes to be a Christian nation. It uses “One Nation Under God,” and “In God We Trust,” and other useful slogans to push that agenda. We have politicians and citizens demanding that prayer (presumably Christian) be required in our public schools. Mr. Newton, I don’t know anything about your faith, and that is not my business. But if you do identify as Christian, then please act it with conviction and depth. You are a model for so many people who follow your every move and word. That is not just, but you know that is part of your fame. Taking the high road will be better, and perhaps the Observer will follow your lead.
Thank you, Mr. Newton, and I hope you have a great season.