The Untold Truth Of Cam Newton

When legendary quarterback Tom Brady left the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March 2020, many fans were curious to find out who would take the athlete's coveted spot. This answer arrived in June 2020, as Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter reported for ESPN that Cam Newton, a star QB who racked up nine years (and an MVP award and Super Bowl appearance) with the Carolina Panthers, signed with the New England Patriots. 

The Georgia native's time with the Patriots came after a tough NFL season, during which he recovered from an operation to repair an injury in his left foot, as ESPN noted. After playing a few games, the Panthers decided in November 2019 to place Newton on injured reserve. In 2021, it was revealed that Newton was unexpectedly released from the New England Patriots. The NFL star was replaced by rookie Mac Jones for reasons that are still unclear. And then, he went back to the Panthers in 2021 only to be a free agent once the season wrapped. 

Now that we've recapped the last few years of Newton's football career, let's take a look at his life outside of sports.

Cam Newton loves being a dad

Cam Newton and ex-girlfriend Kia Proctor have four children together: Chosen Sebastian, Sovereign-Dior Cambella, Camidas Swain, and Cashmere Saint. In 2017, Newton shared a touching video letter to Chosen, saying in part, "Don't be like me, son. Be better than me. You don't have to be an athlete to be accepted by me. You can be whatever you want to be. But whatever you decide, I challenge you to be the best."

Newton and Proctor apparently broke up in 2020, amid reports the quarterback welcomed a fifth child with Instagram model La Reina Shaw, per The Blast. On Father's Day 2020, Newton confirmed on Instagram he has seven kids. "A DADDY isn't defined as the man who makes the child (NOT in all instances), but rather a MAN who extends his hands and time to help with the child's raising and his heart to LOVE the child through anything!!" he wrote. "Being a DAD comes from the heart... ANYBODY CAN MAKE A BABY BUT IT TAKES A REAL MAN TO RAISE A CHILD!! ... JADEN•SHAKIRA•CHOSEN•SOVEREIGN-DIOR•CAMIDAS•CAESAR•CASHMERE•." Shakira is Proctor's daughter from a previous relationship; Jaden is Shaw's son from a previous relationship

Cam Newton is a vegan

Cam Newton revealed in February 2019 he had switched to a vegan diet, following in the footsteps of Tom Brady. "I would have thought that by me going vegan, I would be losing a lot of weight; I'd be losing a lot of energy, things like that," Newton explained to comedian Hannibal Buress in an April 2019 chat. "But it's actually been flipped."

Before trying out veganism, Newton was a pescatarian. It doesn't sound like the football pro is eager to switch back anytime soon, as he explained in a March 2019 vlog post, "I'm a constant work in progress. I always try to tap into something that's going to better me, whether as an athlete, as a parent, as a person." He added, "So this offseason, I was like man, I want to try something different," Newton said in the episode. "I'm loving how I'm feeling."

Some experts blamed Newton's vegan diet on his long recovery period following a foot injury. Chris Howard, a local certified nutritionist, explained to the Charlotte Observer, "Salmon, shrimp, you get a lot of good fats and complete proteins. In fact, [fish] is one of the best protein sources there is." He went on to posit, "He can't recover as well with less nutrients, with less calories and with less muscle mass." On the flip side, Dr. Neal Barnard of George Washington University has suggested the opposite is true, telling CNN in 2017 that adhering to a vegan diet can help with healing and recovery.

He wasn't stressed about being Tom Brady's replacement

Some might say that Cam Newton had a lot to live up to when he replaced Tom Brady upon joining the New England Patriots in 2020. Newton, on the other hand, seemed to be relatively unfazed by the career-defining move. Per Patriots Wire, following the announcement, the NFL star told reporters, "I'm ready. I don't think it's pressure. Just do your job, and I know I plan on doing mine."

The athlete continued on about how he thought Brady would react to his first game. "I know on opening day he's not going to be worried about little ol' me," Newton said. "I know on opening day I just have other things to be focusing on rather than who was here before me. I just know I've got to do right by my opportunity that I do get and make the most of it."

As for his stint with the Patriots, the AP reported that the one-year deal earned the player $7.5 million. As many NFL fans know, Newton was released from the team in 2021 and later joined the Carolina Panthers, signing another lucrative one-year deal.

The NCAA scandal

In 2010 it was revealed that Cam Newton's father, Cecil Newton Sr., jeopardized his son's career when he attempted to solicit money from Mississippi State University for signing his son. As you may have guessed, Cecil's attempt at secretly making money off of Cam's signing goes against National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) policy. Per The New York Times, NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn said, "The solicitation of cash or benefits by either a potential student-athlete or another person on their behalf is not allowed under NCAA rules."

This scandal was brought to the forefront by recruiter Kenny Rogers, who told ESPN Radio that Cecil apparently wanted six figures in exchange for his son's commitment to the team. When Cecil was interviewed by ESPN in 2010 regarding the alleged solicitation attempt, he shifted the blame to Rogers. "If Rogers tried to solicit money from Mississippi State, he did it on his own, without our knowledge," the football star's father claimed. Mississippi State University seemingly did not want anything to do with the attempted illegal signing deal because they shut down the offer and even aided in the investigation process, per ESPN. It was later determined that Cam had no involvement in the solicitation and thus was not subject to any punishment.

He felt unprepared after returning to the Panthers

In 2011, Cam Newton was drafted by the Carolina Panthers as the first overall draft pick. After nearly a decade on the roster, he headed to the New England Patriots, only to abruptly head back to Carolina. After returning to his original NFL team, Newton quickly discovered he could've been better prepared. The QB opened up about the struggles he faced on the field during an episode of "The Pivot Podcast." "I was signed on Thursday. I played on Sunday,” the athlete said. "At what point did you think you was going to be successful? The next week, I started. That's still under 10 days of you being on the team. And you're still trying to learn the offense."

The football star went on to address criticism from those who were less than impressed by his performance. "So before I sit up here and allow the narrative to be made that Cam ain't got it no more, Cam is taking full responsibility and saying Cam put himself in a f***ed up situation, which then had a ricochet effect to people thinking [how they think of me]," he said. Newton also acknowledged that he underperformed during his time with the New England Patriots after he joined the team in place of former quarterback Tom Brady, noting that he'd started playing with the new roster before he was settled.

He's made some controversial comments about women

As many fans know, Cam Newton is no stranger to media scrutiny. The NFL star made headlines once again in 2022 when he took to the "Million Dollaz Worth of Game" podcast to make some not-so-well-received comments about women. Things went left when the football player spoke about how he believes a woman should carry herself. "Now, a woman for me is, handling your own but knowing how to cater to a man's needs right?," Newton asked during the interview. "And I think a lot of times when you get that aesthetic of, 'I'm a boss b***h, Imma this, Imma that. No, baby. But you can't cook. You don't know when to be quiet. You don't know how to allow a man to lead."

You might remember that Newton made similarly distasteful comments about sports reporter Jourdan Rodrigue in 2017. Per the New York Post, the former Patriots quarterback told Rodrigue, "It's funny to hear a female talk about routes." In a since-deleted tweet, Rordigue wrote, "I don't think it's 'funny' to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job." Newton later shared an apology video to Twitter in regards to his comments. Still, it seems that this interaction only further contributed to the backlash Newton received following his appearance on the "Million Dollaz Worth of Game" podcast. Unfortunately, it looks like the football star didn't learn his lesson after the first controversy.

He founded an organization that promotes diversity

Like many athletes, Cam Newton uses his fortune and influence to give back. Through the Cam Newton Foundation, the athlete supports schools and nonprofits in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, and beyond. Some of the NFL star's altruistic extracurricular activities include Cam's Thanksgiving Jam, an annual event where he and a team of volunteers serve underprivileged kids Thanksgiving meals. The football player also can be found at a similar holiday event where he helps hand out much-needed supplies at local schools and after-school programs.

In 2018, Sports Illustrated went behind the scenes of one of Un1ted As 1, a program launched by Newton that aims to educate youth on the significance of embracing diversity. "I just wanted to have a program implementing acceptance," Newton told the magazine. "So much of what we see on TV is people judging, and that's why I really didn't want to talk. I was curious to see how a reporter would sum everything all up. I didn't want my voice here. I want to make this better. I feel like this is important and needed." The multi-day program includes speeches by community leaders and sports professionals alike, including Vi Lyles, the first Black female mayor in Charlotte.

A stolen laptop landed him in hot water

The previously mentioned solicitation scandal wasn't the only trouble Cam Newton got into during his college days. At one point, the then-student athlete lifted another student's laptop, and he is still reflecting on the lesson he learned from the offense years later. Per The St. Augustine Record, when Newton was a student at the University of Florida back in 2008, campus police showed up to his dorm room to investigate after a student reported their laptop as stolen. Unfortunately for the budding NFL star, his efforts to disguise and get rid of the laptop failed and he was arrested and charged with felony larceny, burglary, and obstruction. According to The Washington Post, these charges were eventually later dropped because Newton successfully completed a pretrial diversion program.

In 2017, Newton made an unexpected move by resurfacing this incident himself. The athlete took to Instagram in a since-deleted post to share his mugshots alongside a lengthy caption. "On this date, I thought my life and my career was over, and the fact that I had shamed my family with the media coverage surrounding this situation," the NFL player wrote in part (via The Washington Post). "I vowed to myself on this day (nine years ago) that I will be better from this situation."

The NFL player's brother is an aspiring football star

Cam Newton isn't the only athlete in his family. His younger brother Cayln Newton is a college football star with NFL potential. Caylin first became known for his athletic talents at Washington D.C.'s Howard University. The football player later transferred to Auburn University in Alabama, where his older brother famously led the football team to a BCS National Championship in 2010. In 2022, Caylin transferred to William & Mary University to finish out his college football career. He took to Twitter to address the move, writing, "I've decided to finish my collegiate journey with who I started it with." The football player is likely referring to the fact that he will be reunited with coach Mike London, who he previously played for at Howard University.

It looks like there is a chance Caylin will be following in his brother's footsteps by pursuing a career as a professional athlete after college. He's been a notable player since his freshman year when he received the MEAC Rookie of the Year award

While some aspiring sports stars may struggle with being the younger sibling to a famous athlete, Caylin isn't worried about living in his big brother's shadow. "It's a blessing. It's like a blueprint for success to see what he does and learn from his mistakes and to learn what works for him and to see why he is so successful and to just do it," the athlete told the Baltimore Sun in 2019.

Why was Cam Newton let go from the Patriots?

We may never get the full story behind why Cam Newton was released from the New England Patriots, but the QB has a theory. "The reason they released me was because indirectly I was going to be a distraction," Newton told his dad on an episode of "Funky Friday." "Without being the starter. Just my aura. That's my gift and my curse." He went on to say that he would have been fine with remaining on the team as a mentor with then-rookie Mac Jones taking the lead as quarterback. 

When the player missed multiple practices in August 2021, it was speculated his absence had something to do with his vaccination status. In a statement, the team said he wasn't playing because there was some "misunderstanding" regarding their COVID-related rules after Newton traveled for a doctor's appointment. "They gave me clearance to go," he said in the aforementioned "Funky Friday" episode. "So I don't want nobody to think that I just went up [on my own]. I'm owed a second opinion. That's just a fact. ... The trip was necessary because this was the last time I felt that I was going to have an opportunity to get a second opinion." 

Less than two weeks later, he was cut from the roster. Per ESPN, Bill Belichick stated vaccination status wasn't the reason. In October 2021, Newton shared on his YouTube channel that he'd been vaccinated. 

He gets real on his YouTube channel

Like many athletes, Cam Newton has many business endeavors outside of the world of sports. In addition to the Cam Newton Foundation and many endorsements, Newton has his own YouTube channel that has attracted over 500 thousand subscribers. The platform hosts the football player's "Funky Friday" series which features a different guest each episode. Newton interviews a wide range of celebrities and internet personalities, including athletes and Instagram models. In one of his most viewed "Funky Friday" episodes, Newton sat down with internet personality Brittany Renner to uncover the truth behind her polarizing persona and many scandals. At one point in the ep, Newton stated, "I created this platform for one reason and one reason only, to get outside of the demographic of a football player, because you get bottled into that algorithm of just being an athlete." 

It seems that Newton has accomplished exactly what he set out to do with his YouTube channel because his videos show a different side of his personality. The athlete's vlogs explore his many interests, including fatherhood and fashion. A video posted in March 2022 follows Newton as he travels to Italy to attend Milan fashion week. In a separate video, Newton tests his cooking skills by asking his kids to rate a breakfast he prepared. "I'm making this video for the dads who don't necessarily think that they're capable," the father shared. "I'm just trying to impact and empower." 

Cam Newton thinks his ex 'deserved better'

Cam Newton's relationship history suggests the athlete hasn't always been loyal to his partners, but he has since come forward to acknowledge his wrongdoings. While speaking with Brittany Renner on a February 2022 episode of "Funky Friday" about his history with the mother of four of his children, Kia Proctor, Newton explained why he never married her. "I seen Kia really evolving into a woman where her standards were, 'I ain't just no baby mama,'" he said. "And when she kept putting pressure on me I was like, 'I don't know if this is what I really want." Newton also explained that he had trouble remaining loyal to Proctor even in the early days of his career. "I was in temptation island," the NFL star admitted. "A football player, young, no is not even in my vocabulary. I just found myself in this downward spiral. Did she deserve better? I would humbly say yes. She did."

On a June 2022 episode of "The Pivot" podcast, Newton admitted he regretted cheating on Proctor. "I made a mistake, I hurt her, and I jeopardized our family at that time and I had a child outside of our relationship," he said. Per The Blast, Newton and Proctor's relationship ended in January 2020 after he welcomed a child with La Reina Shaw; Shaw and Newton waited until the following year to go public with their relationship.