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Cam Newton receives backlash after denying he's experienced racism in NFL

Is his silence just as harmful?

Ken Smith // Carolina Panthers/NFL

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton received a lot criticism on Twitter following his recent interview with GQ. Newton touched on a variety of topics in the extensive piece, ranging from fashion to football, but much of the social network's attention was fixated on his personal thoughts and opinions when it comes to experiencing racism from NFL fans—or lack thereof.

He told the magazine:

"It's not racism. Everybody's entitled to their own opinion...I'll let you be the judge. I don't look at it like that. I look at it like some people have certain beliefs, and I have my own belief, and we can agree to disagree on certain things. But this is what makes sports so amazing, that we can start a discussion around a table, in the newspaper, in the magazines, that will get people's attention. And that's what sports does. I don't want this to be about race, because it's not. It's not. Like, we're beyond that. As a nation.... You bring it to people's attention. But after that, that's it."

Twitter instantly erupted once they caught wind of his neutral response:

Some Twitter users defended the QB:

Or did the GQ reporter say it best? Zach Baron wrote about Newton:

"Maybe today he woke up and felt like being just a quarterback, not a black quarterback. Maybe he feels fatigue at having to have this conversation with any random reporter who thinks he’s entitled to his thoughts on this subject. Maybe losing the Super Bowl, and hearing all the criticism of Cam Newton that poured out afterward, left him in a place where he just wanted to retreat, at least in front of a reporter, and for once in his life just not be responsible for explaining away the cruel and insinuating things that other people say about him. Maybe he just didn’t feel like participating in the whole economy of outrage that surrounds him today."

What's your take?

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