Gee Scott says he was speechless for about 10 minutes after watching Cam Newton’s Super Bowl press conference.
“My fiancee, Tina, asked me what’s wrong with me,” the 710 ESPN Seattle host said. “I couldn’t even talk because I was that disappointed.”
After the Panthers’ Super Bowl 50 loss to Denver, the Carolina QB spoke in his mandatory meeting with the media with terse, downtrodden answers before walking out of the room altogether.
Unlike Danny O’Neil, who viewed the press conference response as overblown, Scott said Newton’s actions gives naysayers ammunition. A loss is one thing, but to Scott, the way Newton handled the losing goes beyond representing his team, but, to a point, being the face of black America in that moment.
“He had a responsibility to do things the right way, and he acted like a spoiled brat,” Scott said. “He did everything to make people say, ‘See, I told you so.'”
Newton’s role in representing black culture as a quarterback came up often during the week leading up to the Super Bowl. The 26 year old is a polarizing figure because of his gregarious and outspoken personality.
While Scott’s co-host Justin Myers said he gets irritated when people want good losers, Scott said Newton abandoned those who defended his emotional celebrations, dancing and overall exuberance on and off the field.
“I defended those thing because, you know what, sometimes in our culture that’s just what we do,” Scott said. “Sometimes we have a little brass, have a little fun; we talk a little stuff – ‘That’s what I’m talking about; in your face.'”
Using the same defense he used during criticisms of Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman two years ago after an impassioned postgame interview, Scott believes that trash talk does not define whether a person has class or not. But Newton’s actions and lazy attire in front of the nation after the loss was unacceptable.
“When I saw the press conference, this is where I got so down,” Scott said. “It was before a word came out. It was his body language and it was his attire. I knew with those two things I knew that what was going to come out of his mouth was not going to be what I expected them to be.”
Scott said that Newton’s response disrespected those who paved the way for him.
“He does have a responsibility to do things the right way because of so many people who have come before him that have set the tone and have set the foundation and the example,” he said. “And you get up there and you wear a hoodie and you give one-word answers and you give that kind of display.”
There is a protocol to postgame press conferences, but more than that, Scott believes Newton needed to show some respect to his supporters.
“He dropped the ball for me,” he said.
You can hear the entire conversation in this podcast of the “Justin and Gee” show.