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I can almost guarantee you that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will join the ongoing NFL protests in some way on Sunday before or during his team’s game against New

Newton gave the oddest game-week press conference he has given in his seven years as a Panther on Wednesday. It went for 18 minutes. It contained 15 questions. All 15 were about
the NFL protests – there was not a single query about the actual upcoming game against the defending Super Bowl champions – and Newton’s answers to all 15 were nuanced and

Newton also
,Womens Joey Bosa Jersey,After being part of what he called an “extremely productive” meeting between veteran players and team owner Jerry Richardson at Richardson’s home on Tuesday

sounded regretful that he had not joined the NFL-wide protests that hundreds of players did join last Sunday.

So get ready. Because like it or not – and Newton is well aware many of you will not like it – here it comes.

but I will be extremely surprised if the quarterback doesn’t do something. I would guess he will share some
,Womens Dalvin Cook Jersey,I don’t know what he’s going to do Sunday in terms of protesting

sort of unification gesture with his teammates at the beginning of the game and then maybe also do something else on his own.

The quarterback has digested the issue now, which he had not fully done over a weekend in which he was consumed with game preparation. He has also gotten permission
, he said

from Richardson to peacefully protest without repercussions from the owner if he feels so led.

“The time is upon us, “to do something to bring people closer together.”,” Newton said

feelings about Colin Kaepernick, Carolina Panthers Cam Newton discusses NFL protests

Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton discusses freedom of speech, and the possibility of other team members participating in a future
, how protests are not meant to offend the US flag


The issue continues to burn as President Donald Trump continues to heap more fuel on the fire of his anti-NFL message via Twitter and interviews.

On Wednesday, police brutality and other issues. “You cannot have people
, Authentic Dalvin Cook Jersey, President Trump talked with reporters about NFL players who have protested social inequality

our flag,disrespecting our national anthem,Womens Allen Robinson Jersey, our country – and that’s what they’re doing,” he said. “And in my opinion,Womens Dan Fouts Jersey, the NFL has to change. Or you know what’s going to
happen? Their business is going to go to hell.”

Trump also restarted this firestorm last week by saying at a political rally in Alabama that any NFL player who disrespected the flag was a “son of a bitch” who should be
fired. And he has blamed NFL rating woes on protests during the anthem (although NASCAR,Womens Melvin Ingram Jersey, also has seen a ratings drop)., where no one has protested

Muhammad Ali – the great boxer who was also well-known for his refusal to accept the status quo – is one of Newton’s heroes. When asked Wednesday what the late Ali would do
in the current situation, Newton said: “I really don’t know. ... But I know he would be very stern in his beliefs. And like I say, he would have thought about something, and
this is that time for me.”

Lock arms with teammates? Take a knee? Raise a fist? Stay in the locker room during the national anthem like teammate Julius Peppers – the sole Panther to protest last Sunday
– did against the New Orleans Saints?

All of that is possible. But knowing Newton – the man who created his own alphabet and comes to every postgame press conference in clothing finery a peacock might envy – it
may be something unique.

What is clear is that Newton and his teammates have received some assurances from Richardson that a protest will not affect their standing on the team. I thought Richardson’s
“stick-to-sports” statement about Sunday’s protests was tone-deaf and would hurt Carolina in the 2018 free-agency period. This fence-mending was necessary from both a
and I’m glad it occurred.,business and a human perspective

Benefits and backlashes

Newton confirmed. The quarterback
,Richardson also told the Panthers players he met with that they had to be prepared for public repercussions if they went down the protest path

saying nearly everything he ever says has “its benefits and its backlashes.”,Authentic Melvin Ingram Jersey,doesn’t seem to mind that idea

Newton also reiterated a common theme from protesters – their stance is about social inequality and has nothing to do with the American flag.

” Newton said. “Nobody who has protested meant for it to be disrespectful to the United States flag.”,“By no means do we want to offend anybody

As for his personal message, Authentic Joey Bosa Jersey,Newton said: “The message is unity for
,Authentic Dan Fouts Jersey, Newton said it was to unify people. Wearing a T-shirt that proclaimed “One Love” in an unusual typeface

me. Black, different minorities around America – that’s my message. I want everybody to come together. We get nowhere separated. ... We all are created equal. ... We
,Authentic Allen Robinson Jersey,white

need to find some type of way to come together to make the situation better. Because where we’re going now? It’s not healthy. It’s not healthy at all.”

Carolina Panthers' Captain Munnerlyn talks about team owner Jerry Richardson's meeting with players in wake of social protests in the NFL this past Sunday.

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