Cam Newton has hit back at critics of his post-match press conference following the Carolina Panthers’ defeat in Super Bowl 50.
Newton refused to answer questions properly when speaking to reporters immediately after the 24-10 reverse to the Denver Broncos before walking out of the press conference in frustration, saying “I’m done, man.”
That prompted heavy criticism of the quarterback, who was named the league’s MVP after a stellar regular season and playoff run, but was sacked seven times in the game as the much-vaunted Panthers’ offence was stifled by the Broncos all-consuming defence.
However, he responded on Tuesday by questioning those who had judged him since Sunday’s disappointment.
“I’m human. I never once said that I was perfect, I never proclaimed that I was perfect,” he said. “But at the end of the day who are you to say that your way is right?
“We’ve got all these people condemning and saying ‘he should have done this’, but what makes your way right?
“I’ve been on record as saying I’m a sore loser. Who likes to lose? You show me a good loser and I’m gonna show you a loser.”
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera offered support for his star man, adding: “He hates to lose, that’s who he is, that’s the bottom line.
“I’d much rather have a guy that hates to lose than one who just accepts it. The guy that accepts it, you might as well just push him out of your locker room because you don’t want him around.
“He wants to win and he will do anything he can to win. That’s why we play these games. We don’t play these games because we want a participation trophy. We play these games to win. That’s what it’s all about.
“I’m proud of who he is. Do I wish he’d handled it better? Yes.”