Carolina Panthers star Cam Newton said Wednesday that he believes he scares people because they haven’t seen an African American quarterback like him before, reportsThe Charlotte Observer’s Jonathan Jones.
“I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to,” Newton said.
Newton will become just the sixth black quarterback to start in a Super Bowl when he takes the field against the Denver Broncos on Feb. 7.
“Whether you win, lose or draw, people are going to talk,” Newton added. “Now the true fans—they know what’s up. They’re going to be supportive whatever happens.... But people are going to judge and have their own opinion on certain things that I don’t have control over nor does anybody else.”
The 26-year-old passed for 3,837 yards and 35 touchdowns during the regular season. He also added 10 rushing touchdowns, and led the Panthers to an NFL-best 15–1 record.
If the Panthers defeat the Broncos at Levi’s Stadium, Newton will become just the third black starting quarterback to win the Super Bowl.