STEVE REED, AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Newton has had it with NFL officials.
The Carolina Panthers quarterback fired away Sunday, saying he doesn’t feel protected by them on the field and that their lack of calls is “taking the fun out of the game for me.”
The league’s reigning MVP said he simply doesn’t get the same calls that other QBs in the league get.
“Enough is enough,” Newton said after Carolina’s 30-20 win over Arizona. “I don’t think there’s a person that can go through what I go through and keep their head, you know what I’m saying? Hits to the head, that’s one thing, but when you’re not protected in the pocket, that’s another thing. It became the story of my life ever since I came in (to the league). It’s always, ‘Oh, we missed that, I’m sorry.’ That’s bull c—.”
Newton said he plans to talk to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about why he is treated differently than other QBs.
“I just can’t keep accepting, ‘Oh, we missed that one,’ or ‘I apologize for doing that’ or ‘I didn’t see it.'” Newton said. “That’s horse c—. Coming from a person who’s been fined before, coming from a person who everybody’s expecting a lot from, I’m still going. But yet, when you constantly see the hits, when you constantly see flags being picked up and flags not being thrown, and to see other quarterbacks getting it for lesser physical hits, it’s taking the fun for me out.
“I’m just being honest about that.”
Newton said the “breaking point” for him came in the third quarter when Arizona defensive tackle Calais Campbell came crashing into Newton’s knees , reminiscent of the hit that sidelined Tom Brady in 2008.
Newton was slow to get up, but Campbell was not penalized for the hit.
After the Brady injury , the league’s competition committee adopted a clarification of the rule on hits to a quarterback in the knee area or below the following offseason, prohibiting a defender on the ground that hasn’t been blocked or fouled directly into the quarterback from lunging or diving at the quarterback’s lower legs.
“I could have torn my ACL,” Newton said.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera was angry with officials after the play, but was not asked about the low hit after the game.
Rivera has previously said this season that he doesn’t feel Newton gets as many calls from officials because of his style of play.
“You have to look back and look at it from my vantage point,” Newton said. “I play this game one way. I’m no different than anybody else. I’m just trying to win football games, and whatever I’m asked to do, that’s what I’m going to do. If I’m asked to run, I’ll run. If there’s nothing open downfield, I’m going to scramble. But yet, at the end of the day, there’s rules set in place that if you get hit like this, if you get hit after the throw, the penalty (flag) is supposed to be thrown.”
Newton, who took four helmet-to-helmet hits in the season opener against Denver resulting in no penalty yardage for the Panthers, called it “frustrating.”
He also knows that some people will take what he is saying out of context, but said he couldn’t hold his tongue any longer.
“When I see other guys get calls, they don’t have to be no MVP, they don’t have to be this type of tier of a player,” Newton said. “I look at how they get hit. For every hit they get a call, I can match a hit in my career that I didn’t get a call. ”
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