Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton posted a message on Instagram on Tuesday that included his police picture nine years earlier when he was arrested while studying at the University of Florida. During his regular press conference on Wednesday, Newton explained his reasons for the letter, in which, Newton said, he was "trying to give hope to whoever sees this."
While a second-year quarterback for the Gators, Newton was arrested on November 21, 2008, on charges of theft, theft and obstruction of justice. According to the police report, Newton threw a laptop computer, valued at $ 1,700, outside his bedroom window when officers came to investigate the theft. The laptop had been stolen by another Florida student.
"I Call It My Day of Resurrection" pic.twitter.com/MrO5RKk0J8
– Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 22, 2017
"I always have it marked on my calendar every year, "said Newton. "I call it my resurrection day because so many of me changed that day, for obvious reasons … My biggest scar, in essence, embarrbaded, ended up being my biggest star."
"When I added the police photo, that made it real," Newton said. "I was not alone in the waiting cell, if you really look at that picture, you see green and white, it was not a polo sweater, that day, it became as real as ever in my life. I want in life, this is the determining factor, I hated that it came to this, but many, many things have gone by that I have not reacted, that's the only thing I reacted. "
Newton said he never wants to forget the lesson he learned and He expects others to benefit from his experience.
"Often, when you come to a position of power or even success, you forget the bridge that brought you or forget certain things that happened," Newton said. "I often think about college, I think about when I was in Florida, I remember even when I was in Auburn and I tried to put that attention back into my life improving every day, but more important, I'm here to be a servant. I try to impact and empower people: all ages, shapes, sizes, colors, creeds, it does not matter. "
After his arrest, Newton was suspended from the Florida soccer team. He left the Gators for college, then came to Auburn, where he helped the Tigers win the 2010 BCS national championship while winning the Heisman Trophy.
Newton said he also wants fans to know he's not perfect, just trying to improve.
"I do not want to be the poster of perfection because when you put yourself in that pinnacle, when you finally make a mistake, it's when it comes down," Newton said. "I want people to look at me and say:" Man, look, Cam is still strong, but look at the mistakes he has made. "I'm still a work in progress. When I listen to criticism in the media or whatever, it does not feed my negative side, it just shows me that I still need to improve, and that's not bad for a person to feel that way. "
FOR MORE THAN THE COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF NFL AL.COM, GO TO OUR NFL PAGE
The Panthers are preparing to play the New York Jets. Carolina is coming off her week off with a 7-3 record. The Panthers and Jets start at noon CST on Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
In his seven seasons in the NFL, Newton has played once at the local stadium for the New York teams, and once produced prolific games in league history. On December 20, 2015, Newton threw for 340 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 100 yards in Carolina's 33-30 victory over the Giants.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @ AMarkG1.