Of the 32 NFL quarterbacks that started during the Week 1 slate of games last weekend, a record nine of them were African-American.
"Absolutely not," Newton said, via NFL.com. "You don't have a bar mitzvah just because you're starting an African-American quarterback in this league."
Newton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft, said he had to overcome hurdles to remain a signal-caller. Newton completed 16 of 23 passes for a career-low 125 yards in the season-opening 12-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
"Even leading up to college, having a lot of athleticism playing the quarterback position was looked down upon," said Newton. "Especially the size, the speed, the stature gave coaches nods to say, 'Hey let's put him at wide receiver, at tight end.' I heard all that. But it never derailed me from playing or living up to my dream."