Cam Newton said Thursday that he respects the apology from the high school football player who trash-talked him at a 7-on-7 tournament and hopes their exchange that went viral can be a learning experience for many.
The player, Jseth Owens of Perkiomen Valley High School in Pennsylvania, asked for forgiveness. Newton essentially obliged in a seven-minute video posted to his Facebook page, saying "there's no love lost" while also issuing a challenge to all up-and-coming players.
"I would like to say this, for all the kids that watch this, let this be a lesson," he said. "[To] a man from Philly, repping 215, there's no hard feelings. I was just trying to give him a platform to say where he was from. I'm used to having that type of dialogue with kids. This is not my first rodeo. I know what being 16 and 17 is like.
"What I was looking for him to say and do, he wasn't saying and doing it. He took it as I was trying to 'try' him. That's the disconnect with this day and age, and the kids that are coming up. They feel tried when an adult, or as a man, you're talking to him ..."
Newton, 31, explained that was the catalyst for him asking to speak with Owens' father.
Newton added that he's been heckled at 7-on-7 tournaments before and plans to continue coaching his all-star teams in the future. He hopes those who play "learn from this and say, 'If I'm in the presence of somebody like that, not only will I respect them as a human being, but I'll respect the path he's allowing me to have as well.'"