Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton recently found himself in hot water after abruptly leaving the podium after the Panthers’ Super Bowl 50 loss to the Broncos.
Though not technically required to speak to the press at all, Newton’s curt, one-word answers and sudden exit two and a half minutes into the conference was enough to have the entire nation pointing fingers and reciting lectures on his apparent lack of sportsman-like behavior.
Though this doesn’t excuse Newton’s behavior, the fact of the matter is professional sports are built around inflated egos and trash-talking opponents. They simply come with the sports culture.
Therefore, an attempt to use a modern-day sports illustration to teach a lesson on humility has its contextual limits, but it’s also one of the best since sports are so widely understood.
After all, Paul drew several examples in his New Testament epistles from sports in his day. Why can’t we?
Though none of us has ever been in the position of losing a Super Bowl (after a nearly perfect season,) it’s easy for us to bash Newton’s behavior.
We actually have all been on the losing end of something, be it an argument, a championship game or even just a game of Monopoly, so naturally we feel this puts us on equal footing with the star quarterback. The advice of our own parents and coaches rings in our ears. “Be a good sport,” “No one likes a sore loser,” and the list goes on.
To put it politely, Newton was a bad loser. But after the Super Bowl, social media was blanketed with pictures of Broncos fans mocking his touchdown victory dance and trumpeting criticisms about Newton’s arrogance during the press conference fiasco.
This response calls into question their own arrogance and “good winner” status.
Is this reaction truly any better than his? People flock to point fingers when a prideful person falls, but honestly, how humble is that?
That is merely teaching the twisted idea that it is okay to arrogantly kick a man while he is down because he was arrogant first.
As we said before, banter between rivals is simply part of the sports culture, so take this with a grain of salt. But if we must extract a lesson out of the situation, instead of giving a pat speech about pride going before a fall, how about we make sure our own actions are above reproach first?