Cam Newton wants more fun in the NFL: ‘We are entertainers’
The furthering legitimizing of the unflattering notion that NFL stands for “No Fun League” has been a major talking point throughout the 2016 season. The league seemingly appears intent on legislating fun and expressions of individuality out of the game, despite the fact football is in large part a form of entertainment.
Count Cam Newton among the contingent who believes players should express themselves on the field instead of having the NFL try to figure out ways to eradicate fun out of the league.
With preparations in full swing for Thursday’s match-up with the Atlanta Falcons, the Carolina Panthers quarterback weighed in on the “No Fun League” criticism by arguing there’s room for players to have fun in the game.
“I really can’t talk on their ratings,” Newton said, via ESPN. “But in some way, shape, form or fashion, we are entertainers. Our influence ranks second-to-none at this time of the year.”
Newton without a doubt is one of the more flamboyant players in the NFL, well known for his attention-grabbing antics on the field, including his wildly popular — although occasionally criticized — touchdown celebrations, which include of course his famous “Dab” dance from last season, which he has since retired.
The charismatic Panthers signal-caller previously has justified his on-field celebrations, saying he’s inspired to do them because there’s “greatness in the air” and that his dancing takes him to his “happy place” for some reason.
When asked if there should be more celebrating in the NFL, Newton’s response couldn’t be less surprising.
“You’re asking a person who celebrates,” he said, smiling.
Newton noted during his comments that he especially appreciated Odell Beckham Jr.’s “Thriller” dance during the Giants’ victory on Monday night over the Bengals.
.@OBJ_3 is wide open?!?
Easy @Giants TOUCHDOWN. #CINvsNYG https://t.co/A8rFJER9tj
— NFL (@NFL) November 15, 2016
He even busted out a few lines from the Michael Jackson classic.
It's safe to say that Cam enjoyed @OBJ_3's Thriller TD celebration pic.twitter.com/h5qZQGid4H
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 15, 2016
Interestingly, the above video of Beckham’s touchdown grab from the NFL’s own official Twitter account highlights his “Thriller” dance, which seemingly is at odds with the league’s arguably draconian stance against expressions of individuality, making it unclear exactly what the NFL wants out of its players.
Newton believes players deserve the opportunity to celebrate given the sacrifices they make for the game of football.
“… if scoring a touchdown, getting a sack, getting a win … let alone all of that bottled up and staying here until 10 at night and here at 6 in the morning, all of that energy that you put, spending time away from your family, all of that bottled up and being able to do exactly what you planned and foresaw yourself doing, you are owed something.”