Because Saying The Right Thing Would Be Far Too Easy, Cam Newton Cited The Legal Process In Defending Jerry Richardson
ABCNews- Newton said he left Sunday's meeting feeling "disgruntled'' that Richardson planned to sell "because this is a person who has enlightened me on so many different types of things, on and off the field.''
Newton emphasized that the allegations against Richardson -- who, according to SI, settled with at least four former employees to keep their accusations private -- are just that: allegations.
Newton found himself in a similar spot while at Auburn. His father was alleged to have shopped his services to Mississippi State for up to $180,000 before Newton ultimately went to Auburn, where in 2010 he won the national title and Heisman Trophy.
"I basically almost got an NCAA ... almost been suspended, just off an allegation,'' Newton said Wednesday. "That's how I feel about it. Not comparing apples to apples. It's still something somebody said. When I went through my allegations, it was all false.''
Newton made it clear that he takes charges of sexual harassment seriously.
"But allegations, that's a different thing,'' he said.
"In this day and time, it's almost, you're automatically guilty until proven innocent rather than, in the rights of the judicial system, you're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.
"...Nothing was actually proven. It's just another person's word against another person's word. Needless to say, I still think extremely highly of Mr. Richardson. I don't even know any of the sources. I'm reaching to find it. I take sexual assault extremely serious, and I didn't want to offend anybody by that. Just having a lot of allegations thrown at a person isn't fair.''
Newton admitted that the days since the SI article was published have been difficult.
"I was scared on Sunday. I'm still scared now, not knowing what to even expect,'' he said. "When you hear a report about Mr. Richardson, a person that we all, as an organization, have so much respect for and the people who did come out saying certain things about racial slurs, sexual assault ... it's still allegations.''
Richardson's decision to put the team up for sale didn't sit well with Newton when he was informed of it during Sunday's meeting.?
"I didn't approve of it,'' Newton said. "For him to be ejected from my life, from the sports side, I don't even know how to handle that.''
Welp, at least he's consistent. I mean, not when it comes to doing what he gets paid handsomely to do in quarterbacking the Carolina Panthers, but - if snapped to for a judgement regarding a situation where the trials and tribulations of women (or minorities, for that matter) in the workplace can be trivialized - that completion percentage is damn near 100%.
And look, Cam Newton does have a point. It's just not remotely close to being relevant here. Given the cultural climate, we absolutely should need more than an allegation to slam the proverbial gavel in the court of public opinion. You know, such as a laundry list of oddly specific allegations (you don't fabricate something as strange as an in-office request to shave your legs) that - when heavily investigated - turned out to coincide with significant payouts made to multiple allegers of a multitude of discriminatory transgressions. We are talking about an 81 year old billionaire that reacted to this news by almost immediately deciding to sell his pride and joy despite having a 13 foot statue of himself erected on its doorstep. Donald Sterling tried everything short of treating African Athletes athletes with respect in an effort to keep the Clippers, and that's because even that half dead racist knew that relinquishing the reigns to his team served as an obvious admission of wrongdoing.
At the very least, Jerry Richardson is on the ass end of innocent until presumed guilty, and it's in a much, much more incriminating way than assuming that a college athlete knew this father was trying to extort money from prospective universities. Much like the subordinates working under the Carolina Panthers' newly disgraced owner, not all allegations are treated as equal. It's a good thing they aren't, because if a scorned football booster were as trustworthy as an office full of female employees who had good reason to actively avoid their boss on Casual Friday then Cam Newton's list of accomplishments might not include a National Championship or a Heisman Trophy.
So can someone sit Cam Newton down and read him Sports Illustrated's deep dive into the past of the guy who had his underlings refer to him as 'Mister' while running a subservient operation in which that "term of endearment" would probably be more accurate if the first vowel were changed? Unfortunately, the route he is taking in jumping on the offensive for a guy that didn't even try to defend himself is basically a fade pattern away from the truth, and - as hard as this may be for Cam Newton to grasp - it's one that is all-too-familiar to women.
I don't care how close he is with Jerry Richardson. There should be no qualifier to "I take sexual harassment very seriously...", and especially not from someone who is months removed from learning firsthand that the fairer sex is more likely to be subjected to unfair treatment while working in sports. The legal process is important when it comes to putting someone in prison, but when it comes to officially declaring them a scumbag that abused their power? I think I'm just fine indicting via the process of common fucking sense.