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A few weeks ago, the Carolina Panthers quarterback said, “We’re beyond that as a nation” when asked about race relations, and his latest comment may be just as controversial.
In an interview with ESPN about Colin Kaepernick‘s decision to not stand during the national anthem, Newton decided not to choose a side, saying, “What I can’t fathom is how does 1/8 of an inch, something so small, be the difference in such a big commodity in our whole lifetime, and that’s the thickness of our skin.”
“And under that, we’re all the same color. And that’s the big picture. A lot of scrutiny happens when the athletes start talking about race, but the truth of the matter is we just gotta do right by each other. No matter what color you are. Certain things that has happened in our life, in our lifetime, is kind of embarrassing to be affiliated with, but it still happens. Who am I to say, Colin you’re wrong. And who am I to say, you’re right. We all have the right to think whatever we want to think.”
ESPN pundit Stephen A. Smith spoke at length about Newton’s failure to pick a side, and instead dancing around the question. Smith wants Newton to understand the power and influence he has and use it to shed light on the issues people are facing everyday in this country. Smith says Newton is more worried about his brand than taking a stand. Watch Newton’s clip and Smith’s heated response on First Take up top.