Sunday, May 27, 2018
Sports

Panthers' Newton tired of "black quarterback" conversation

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Cam Newton wants any discussion of black quarterbacks in a Super Bowl put away.

For good.

Newton on Tuesday emphatically tried to lay to rest any relevance of an African-American quarterback appearing in the NFL's championship game.

During a session with the media that bordered on confrontational, Newton finally said to the reporter: "It's not an issue. It's an issue for you."

Carolina's All-Pro quarterback added: "I think we shattered that a long time ago."

Several black quarterbacks have led their teams to the big game: Doug Williams (with the Redskins, after he left the Bucs), Steve McNair, Donovan McNabb, Colin Kaepernick and Seattle's Russell Wilson the past two years.

"I don't even want to touch on the topic of 'black quarterback' because I think this game is bigger than black, white or even green," the fifth-year Panther said. "I think we limit ourselves when we just label ourselves just black this, that. …

"I want to bring awareness because of that, but yeah, I don't think I should be labeled just a black quarterback. It's bigger things in this sport that need to be accomplished."

DO WHAT I SAY … : Before the Panthers went to California for the Super Bowl, team broadcaster Eugene Robinson had a message for the players: Don't mess up like I did.

Robinson was a Falcons safety in 1999 when he was arrested the night before the Super Bowl for solicitation of a prostitute while his wife and children were in a nearby hotel. Robinson played the next day but gave up an 80-yard touchdown pass and missed a tackle on a long run in a 34-19 loss to the Broncos.

"It was just to tell these guys, don't mess this up," Robinson said. "I can be a living example — don't mess this up."

IGNORANCE IS BLISS: Broncos QB Peyton Manning said that his team's unfamiliarity with the Panthers actually works to his advantage, as there's little danger of overpreparing with the extra week off before the game.

"You certainly have more time to prepare than you normally would … " he said. "I think it's helps in this situation because we're playing a team that we are not very familiar with, it's not a team we play on a regular basis. Played them three years ago, but a lot of different players on both sides of the ball since then."

TURF WAR: Will the turf at Levi's Stadium swallow a player Sunday the way it nearly did with Ravens K Justin Tucker in a game earlier this season?

The NFL's playing surface guru says no way. "I think we're in great shape," Ed Mangan, the league's field director, said.

Tucker missed a field goal during Baltimore's loss to the 49ers in October when the turf gave way and his left leg slipped.

HGH PROBE: Commissioner Roger Goodell said on the "Rich Eisen Show" podcast that the league is working with law enforcement and other investigators to look into a report linking Manning, among others, to shipments of human growth hormone. "As you know, that report involved allegations that we take very seriously," Goodell said.

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