CHARLOTTE, NC--Panthers quarterback Cam Newton abruptly canceled a charity appearance at an elementary school in Charlotte, North Carolina Wednesday when the camera crew assigned to cover it did not show up. Newton, who exited after only 15 minutes, left hundreds of children disappointed.
He defended his decision later that day.
“Look, I have nothing against those kids, but I simply cannot, will not, do charity work without a camera crew present,” Newton told the Charlotte Observer. “I’m not going to drag my ass off the couch to yuk it up with a bunch of kids unless it’s going to be on, at the very least, the local news. And in this case the local news failed to show up. If you want to blame this on somebody, blame them.”
Cell phone video of the appearance shows Newton smiling and signing autographs while impatiently checking his watch. After a few minutes, a visibly frustrated Newton stops signing, pushes his way through the children, and pulls his cell phone out. After a heated conversation, Newton approaches the group of kids and makes an unfortunate announcement.
“Sorry, kids, I have to leave now. I have a uh...scheduling conflict. I know. I'm as disappointed as you are. There's nothing I love more than helping children with numerous cameras present. If you'd like to see footage of other kids being helped, you can always visit the Cam Newton Foundation official website. Bye!”
Witnesses at the school say Newton’s demeanor was less than enthusiastic during his brief appearance and that he was nothing like he is on TV.
“He just seemed distracted,” said Verna Underwood, mother of a student at the school. “He wouldn’t even look at the kids and didn't even crack a smile, which is weird because he always has this shit-eating grin on his face when he’s on TV. He also didn’t bust out any of his patented dance moves, but I guess those are reserved for the 3-10 teams he’s taunting.”
Courtney Fleming, a producer for Fox 13 Charlotte, said the camera crew that was supposed to be dispatched to the charity event was re-directed to a warehouse fire downtown.
“Yes, it’s true we were supposed to be there, but there was a fire. A fire is more important than some dumbass charity event where we go watch Cam mug for the camera. There will be other opportunities anyway, I'm sure. This guy can't help himself. I’m told tomorrow he’ll be hanging out by a lake with a camera crew in case somebody drowns.”
Newton’s agent defended his client’s behavior by pointing out that he does more charity work than almost every player in the NFL and has helped countless numbers of people from all walks of life.
“Nobody does more for others than Cam,” said Bus Cook. “The guy is tireless. Every day he’s out there at some school, hospital or homeless shelter giving back to the community. If he gets a little ornery sometimes it’s because he’s burnt out, much like Jesus was burnt out after 33 years of banging his head against the wall for a bunch of clueless sad sacks. So lay off. Otherwise he's going to get pissed and stop helping people just to teach you a lesson.”
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