NFL Star Cam Newton Doesn't Owe His Whole Body to the Team

panther tattooCarolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is under fire for his comments to Cam Newton, the team's new quarterback. He shared on The Charlie Rose Show that he asked the 22-year-old Heisman Trophy-winning QB in April whether or not he had any tattoos or piercings. When Newton said, "No," Richardson said, "Good, we want to keep it that way." Then, he made a comment about how he thought Newton had a "very nice haircut," hinting that he would be opposed to the player growing his hair out.

Kinda strange and a little unnerving, I'd say. Where does this guy get off telling Newton what he can or cannot do to his appearance?

Oh, sure, there's the argument that he's his employer, and if your boss -- who is paying you good money to work a certain job -- wants you to wear black socks or your hair up or whatever, you do it. But we're not talking about the dress code of the NFL here.


These are Richardson's own weird quirky requests. And they just seem out of line.

There's also the fact that the guy is 75 years old and may have a different perspective on things than, say, a guy right out of college starting his NFL career. But it still seems wonky that he would target Cam with this "makeover" (or should I say "makeunder") talk. (I know Newton doesn't have the squeaky-cleanest image, but did Richardson think he was talking to Dennis Rodman's kid or something?) Nonetheless, when Charlie Rose said he sounds like Vince Lombardi, he said he thinks he sounds reasonable.

Ehhhhh. I don't know about that. I know Richardson isn't the owner of the Broncos, but just look at someone like Tim Tebow who wears biblical verses in face paint during games! That's something that could actually be a distraction on or even off the field. That's something that might warrant shutting down. On the other hand, most tattoos and piercings and especially hair length (sheesh!) have no bearing whatsoever on game play. If that kind of thing really bothers Richardson, he's so old-school, I wonder if it might be time for him to graduate onto the next chapter of his professional life: retirement.

What do you think about NFL players having tats, piercings, or long hair?


Image via Cameron Genereux/Flickr

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