When first round draft pick Cam Newton met with the boss of his future team, the Carolina Panthers, he probably didn’t think it would feel more like an audition for America’s Next Top Model. Newton’s looks almost seemed just as important as his talent. That’s because Panthers owner Jerry Richardson asked Newton if he had any tattoos and when Newton said he didn’t, Richardson told him to keep it that way. He was also told to avoid getting piercings and that he has a “very nice haircut.” Ummm….
You may find yourself asking, “What the hell does any of this have to do with him throwing a damn football?” Some would say that Richardson believes Newton’s image should be protected, as he is the face and future of the franchise. But if the Panthers happen to make the playoffs this year under Newton’s leadership, after being the worst team in the league last season, does anyone really think he’ll have trouble being “marketable” to any company? Beyond that, is anyone else just a little uncomfortable that Newton was told to avoid getting tattoos and to maintain a “choir boy image” when he has a teammate who looks like this?
Additionally, I’d be curious to know whether Richardson’s had this conversation with other former QBs. Was he ever worried that Jake Delhomme would get inked up and grow a ponytail? And if he was worried, did he go so far as to warn Delhomme against it? Additionally, look at that picture of Cam Newton up above. Does it really look like he needs to be told how to dress or carry himself??? Since Richardson’s all about giving advice, here’s hoping he’s open to taking some. Why not let the guy just go out there and do his job and stop acting like Ms. J. in an elimination scene, advising some wannabe model against growing out her bangs. Eye roll: activate!