Sportress of Blogitude

Cam Newton posts mugshot from 2008 arrest, inspiring message on Instagram (pic)

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton used a mugshot from a 2008 arrest to inspire others to overcome obstacles in their lives, writing that if “I can do it with my circumstances surely you can do it and be whatever you want to be with hard work and persistence!”

Newton, then a member of the Florida Gators football team, was arrested and charged on Nov. 21, 2008 with felony counts of burglary, larceny and obstruction of justice. The charges stemmed from accusations Newton stole a laptop from a fellow Florida student. Newton was suspended by the team but all charges were later dropped after he completed a court-approved pretrial diversion program. Newton of course later transferred to Auburn where he led the Tigers to a national championship.

But Newton in his Instagram post, on the anniversary of the arrest, argues that if he would have believed all the naysayers and critics at the time of his arrest, he wouldn’t be where he is today.

A post shared by Cam Newton (@cameron1newton) on

Newton’s post, slightly edited due to his use of unique font styles and syntax in his Instagram messages:

I contemplated posting this and even reluctant about it but as I think about my life and the many things I’m thankful for; I want to be an open book so people can here [sic] my testimony and learn from the flaws and mistakes I made! On this day 11/21/2008 I was arrested for a stolen laptop and I’m sure your [sic] asking yourself where is he going with this story but the moral of the story is this…. on this date I thought my life and career was over and the fact that I had shamed my family with the media coverage surrounding this situation I vowed to myself on this day (9 yrs ago) that I will be better from this situation.

What you must learn form this story is this: if you live your life listening to what other people are saying what you should do and not your own; shame on you! I can honestly say to you today that no one gave me a chance to succeed down bad in my situation and if I would have listened to hose people that said I can’t who knows where I would be today. So I’m extremely thankful for God’s mercy, grace and favor over my life; so if I can do it with my circumstances surely you can do it and be whatever you want to be with hard work and persistence!

Side note: And people wonder why I play the game the way I do, act the way I act, dress the way I dress and even live the way I live because in some people’s eyes I’m not supposed to be here but in my eyes I’m not going to have any regrets with the second chance God has given me!

Newton without question is a polarizing figure in the NFL, who boasts a fair share of critics despite his many admirers. Still, for Newton to use an embarrassing incident from his past to impart a valuable lesson to his social media followers certainly merits some semblance of praise.