Cam Newton apologizes for viral fight at youth football event: 'I should've never put myself in that position'

FILE - NFL football player Cam Newton watches play between Howard and Florida A&M during the first half of an NCAA Celebration Bowl football game, Dec. 16, 2023, in Atlanta. A video surfaced Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, that appeared to show Newton being involved in a scuffle at a 7-on-7 youth football tournament in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)

A video of Cam Newton fending off multiple people went viral last weekend. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Cam Newton sees some humor in the viral footage of him and his hat fighting off multiple men at a youth football event weekend — but he wants young athletes to learn a lesson from the situation.

The former Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots quarterback appeared in multiple videos of an altercation during a 7v7 All-Star football tournament at the B.E.S.T. Academy on Northwest Drive NW in Atlanta on Feb. 26.

Speaking on his podcast “4th & 1,” Newton said that the incident was sparked by an exchange of contentious comments with opposing team TopShelf Performance (TSP). He explained that two leaders of the team previously worked for his 7-on-7 program, C1N.

Social media clips showed the 34-year-old as he seemed to effortlessly handle an attack from three men at once, initially forcing them to the ground and restraining two of them as the fight continued. One of the posts has over 5 million views. With his large fedora comically staying put in each frame, there was plenty of material for jokes.

“There was a lot of talking on both sides. On all sides, and let’s just put it like that,” Newton said. He declined to place blame on anyone or offer specifics. “It’s something that starts with words and should’ve ended with words,” he added.

While Newton didn’t start the physical altercation, he isn’t proud of it.

“I’m disappointed in myself for letting it escalate to what it did and that’s what I’m apologetic to,” Newton said, dismissing public comments from the other men involved. “The truth of the matter is this. Me, being in my position, I should’ve never put myself in that position. That’s just the truth. That s*** could’ve got ugly, for real.”

USA Today identified the TSP coaches as Steph Brown and TJ Brown. The outlet also reported that Newton yelled out jabs about the team’s plays that he recognized.

“It’s tough to be my son, I know!” he allegedly shouted. “I raised you!”

It probably didn’t help that Newton’s under 15 7v7 team won in the tournament.

Newton’s podcast took an even more serious tone when he acknowledged that he took an unnecessary risk. He noted that the conflict could have resulted in him getting shot or punched so hard that he landed in a coma, potentially leaving his eight children without their father. Newton added that if he had returned blows, he could have been sued or arrested.

He wants young athletes to “be better than” him and maintain control of their feelings.

“This is what I really want the narrative to be,” Newton said. “To every high school player, to every single person I’ve influenced and to every single athlete, use my situation as a way to understand that in one moment and one decision, your life can change just like that. I let my emotions get the best of me and it should not have been called for. It’s simple.”

It appeared to be his second confrontation on the youth football scene, as a photographer shared a seemingly tense moment between Newton and South Florida Express coach Jay Wimbrow on Jan. 27.

That said, Newton doesn’t plan to take a backseat with his organization, which he has led for over 10 years.

“This is my way of giving back to the community,” he said.

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