Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton gets his first tattoo.
When the Carolina Panthers selected quarterback Cam Newton first overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, much was made about his collegiate history. There were some issues surrounding Newton as he originally attended the University of Florida and transferred to Blinn College, before leading the Auburn Tigers to a national championship. Regardless, former owner Jerry Richardson and the team needed a franchise quarterback and an athletic Newton provided the answer.
Fast-forward eight seasons and the Panthers have enjoyed their most consistent success to date, despite still not registering back-to-back winning seasons. In Newton’s tenure, Carolina has won the NFC South division three times, been to the playoffs for half of his career and appeared in a Super Bowl.
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Once signed, reports of Richardson telling the young rookie that he needed to remain tattoo free surfaced. The Panthers founder disliked them and apparently wanted to keep Newton tattoo free after being told his first-round pick didn’t currently have any.
A change in ownership from Richardson to David Tepper signaled a shift in the franchise as workplace misconduct allegations arose and ultimately led to the original owner selling his team. The switch created change and despite Newton choosing to grow out his hair and recently receive his first tattoo, the Panthers quarterback attempted to set the record straight via a post on his Instagram story.
ESPN staff writer David Newton reported the new ink on Newton’s left hand – though no pictures have been revealed – and the quarterback’s disdain for reporters attempting to make a story out of nothing.
"“He [Richardson] NEVER said I could NOT get a tattoo or grow my HAIR,” Newton posted Thursday on his Instagram story after news about his tattoo surfaced. “I was free to do WHATEVER I wanted to do! I should have said something the first time this came up years ago but I can not let this fly this time! I KNOW FOOTBALL SEASON IS OVER AND REPORTERS ARE SCRAMBLING FOR NEWS STORIES BUT THIS AIN’T IT! Stop with the s—s! 1OVE.”"
In and out of season, Newton remains the target of criticism. He can’t smoke a cigar or enjoy a birthday outing with friends, without being hounded by the media. Now he has a tattoo people want to blame was delayed because of an NFL owner.
At least now everyone can lay to rest the claims of Richardson keeping Newton ink free. He is almost 30-years old and no stranger to being in the spotlight or doing his own thing.
If he wanted a tattoo earlier, he probably would’ve gotten one