Ex-NFL MVP Cam Newton believes his dreadlocks and fashion choices “hindered” his opportunities in the league

Former NFL MVP and free-agent quarterback Cam Newton recently opened up about how his fashion choices and signature dreadlocks may have held him back in the league.

Newton was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft and spent nine seasons with the franchise before facing an unfortunate shoulder injury in his throwing arm, leading him to get out of the team’s roster.

The 2015 MVP then signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots in 2020 during his dreadlocks phase to become their QB1 and team captain before getting released by them in 2021 and re-joined the Panthers for the season.

Cam Newton thinks his dreadlocks and fashion choices affected his NFL career

Panthers legendary quarterback Cam Newton opened up to Josina Anderson about his brimming dreadlocks on Tuesday’s episode of “Undefined” podcast, saying his current hairstyle kept him out of an NFL job.

Cam Newton

It’s been hindered. And I’m not changin’. This is one thing I do understand about my stance, especially with the NFL—it’s such a prestigious brotherhood, fraternity. And whether I go back or not, I can always say I did it at a high level. Where I’m at right now in my life—do I need the NFL? No. Does the NFL need me? Hell no. And I think that understanding is the reason why I’m able to kinda be fine”, he stated.

The three-time Pro Bowler mentioned many people hinted him towards going back to the earlier clean-cut form, albeit he denied it over time to do so and is determined to continue being true to himself, both on and off the field.

“But, yeah, people have hinted towards to say like, ‘Cam, we want you to go back to the 2015 clean-cut Cam. But that was a different me. Right now, where I’m at, it’s about embracing who I am”, he added.

Host Anderson later the QB if any team had specifically mentioned the dreadlocks as a major roadblock to not signing him when he was looking for a new destination after being released from the Patriots.

Cam, known for his bold and flamboyant fashion sense, admitted being advised to change his appearance to conform to the traditional norms of the league and said many other quarterbacks in the league have long hair, albeit he was the one to get the accusation of scaring people with dreadlocks.

Cam Newton

“There was hints toward it. And I gained a lot of great counsel from a lot of people, and the thing that is always mentioned is, ‘Yo, Cam, you scarin’ people the way you look.’ And I would say, yo, like I’m not gonna name names, but there’s other quarterbacks that’s in the league that don’t look like me, but they got long hair. They don’t scare them, do they? So, we can go tit for tat, tat for tit with it. But I would just turn and nod to that and say, ‘That’s not the reason why I’m not in the NFL”, the former MVP further added.

Regardless of how others perceive his fashion sense, Newton remains a talented athlete with a successful career in the league. However, it remains to be seen whether his comments will inspire changes in the way that athletes are judged based on their appearance.


371 articles

Maliha works as a content writer in Sportszion specializing in NFL and NBA. She has completed her graduation and post-graduation, majoring in MIS (Management Information Systems). She loves analyzing sports and keeping fans updated with the latest sport buzzes.


Leave a Comment