FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — A high school football player who was seen on video trash-talking Cam Newton has apologized to the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player after the exchange between them went viral.
An abbreviated part of the video, in which Newton was repeatedly taunted as a free-agent-to-be who was “about to be poor,” sparked passionate reaction from Newton’s NFL peers. It occurred at a 7-on-7 football tournament, with Newton coaching his longtime team through his charitable foundation.
The player, Jseth Owens of Perkiomen Valley High School in Pennsylvania, asked for forgiveness as part of a written apology on Twitter.
— jseth owens (@jsethowens_5) February 22, 2021
Earlier Sunday, Newton had shared an extended video of the exchange on Instagram, with an accompanying message that explained why he was seeking to speak with the player’s father.
“People often forget as athletes that are often seen on TV — loved by most, hated by some — we are real dads, real friends, real brothers, real sons, real human beings. With that being said, when I attend tournaments all across the country with my all-star team, I have given my time, my energy and my expertise to these kids coming into our program for over 11 years and that is not what people want to hear or even want to see.
“People want to see me arguing with another young man and to see me ‘get in my feelings.’ But the truth is this, I impact kids’ lives in a positive way. Make no mistake about it, I allow kids to realize their ‘out’ by using their football talents to get them to the next level and in most cases out of the hood.”
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette, New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron and Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons were among NFL players who tweeted their support of Newton.
Some Kids in this generation don’t appreciate the fact that Professional players are taking the time out to come out an show love an they have the nerves to act like that.. https://t.co/BO2x40H9EA
— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) February 21, 2021
Any young athlete watching this video please don’t be this kid, Don’t miss your chance to learn something from someone who has been their at the highest level in this sport…. STAY HUMBLE https://t.co/BCmGPK8w1W
— 7⃣ Leonard Fournette (@_fournette) February 21, 2021
lil boy was talkin CRAZY… def should’ve got kicked out the camp … https://t.co/IXYC1a8itg
— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) February 21, 2021
he ain’t triggered social media give kids to say whatever with no respect.. lol boy got in cam shirt 😂 that “i’m rich” having ppl on they feelings 😂 #MVPCam (Cam always been one my favorites) ✊🏾 https://t.co/Sf4FJpkj3q
— Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) February 21, 2021
He tried to be funny in front of his friends instead of asking a great like Cam, how to overcome adversity and be an MVP of a league that you have 1% chance of making. Smh.
AT AN EVENT HE DOESNT HAVE TO BE AT..to support yall..? https://t.co/RNcBEyyccz
— Justin Simmons (@jsimms1119) February 21, 2021
Newton, who spent the 2020 season with the New England Patriots after nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. He said on the “I Am Athlete” podcast to be released Monday that he has no plans to retire.
“Hell no! I can’t go out like that,” he said in reference to an up-and-down 2020 season in which the Patriots were 7-9. “I hear all of that talk. My pride won’t allow me to do it. There aren’t 32 guys better than me.”
Newton also said he’d be open to returning to the Patriots on a one-year deal.
“Yes. Hell yes! I’m getting tired of changing [teams],” Newton said.
Asked if there was a chance it happens, Newton responded: “There’s always a chance for everything.”