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Carolina Panthers Owner Tells Cam Newton “No Tattoos, No Piercings.” Fair Or Unfair?

Submitted by on August 25, 2011 – 11:05 amOne Comment

Cam Newton has received his fair share of criticism over the past couple of years. Despite some of the negativity following him, Newton has been able to keep a million dollar smile on his face and was drafted #1 by the Carolina Panthers in the NFL Draft. Now that he has found a home in the NFL, Newton will surely have all eyes on him as he enters his first professional football season. But Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is already getting hands on with Newton and trying to cultivate his image. In a report on Yahoo that documents Richardson’s interview with Charlie Rose, the following transpired.

Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has asked No. 1 draft pick Cam Newton to stay clear of tattoos and piercings.

At their first meeting, Richardson asked the star quarterback whether he had either of those things. Newton responded, “No, sir.” Richardson said he’d like to keep it that way.

He told this to Charlie Rose of PBS during a recent interview. Rose said the owner sounded like Vince Lombardi.

“No, I just sound reasonable to me,” he replied.

Reasonable? Perhaps Richardson has missed the memo that tattoos have become the norm for everyday citizens. You’ll be more hard pressed to find people Newton’s age without tattoos than finding those that have them. Tattoos aren’t the bad boy brand that they once were. It’s easy to see what Richardson is trying to do here. He wants to make sure that Newton remains visually pristine and doesn’t draw any extra attention to himself.

Trying to prevent Newton from getting a piercing (where exactly?) or a tattoo doesn’t change who he is. Nor will it prevent him from doing something that may get him in trouble. Contrary to Richardson’s belief, what he’s pulled here is a tad bit racist. He wants to make Newton a crossover star while washing away all the blemishes in his past. I’m not quite sure though how exactly tattoos ruin his image. This isn’t to say that Richardson is a racist, but what he is trying to accomplish with Newton is eyebrow raising. Especially considering he said it out loud.

Tattoos and piercings didn’t make Ben Rothlisberger do what he did. It’s simply not a factor. Why is the team owner telling Newton what he needs to be doing visually with his body?

I understand Richardson is trying to protect his investment. I just don’t agree with it.

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