For the second year in a row, Cam Newton stood in front of a group of middle-aged children and revealed something that had embarrassed him – growing up in Atlanta, he didn’t interact with someone who didn’t. did not look like. until he entered college, using his connections through football to learn about people of different backgrounds and ethnicities. Like he did last year, he joked about the first time he heard Lynyrd Skynyrd – “What is this? !! ​​??” he said with a big smile – his lack of exposure to children from other backgrounds clearly cost him life experience and changed his perspective.

And if he has anything to say about it, some of the next generation won’t have this problem.

With the Cam Newton FoundationIn year two of the Un1ted As 1 program which kicks off Tuesday night at Camp North End, the 29-year-old quarterback hopes to help 32 college kids from different backgrounds work together, embrace diversity, understand the power of influence and exercise it has an impact on social change; by presenting teens of different ages who have been brought up in different scenarios, they can discuss real issues in today’s society and see those issues as opportunities for positive change – and that starts with Newton himself.

“I make sure I use my influence in a way that allows children to come together at this age to have a broader view of life as a whole,” Newton said. “The difference is OK. Something that was extremely rewarding for me was being able to be in a room full of differences – religion, ethnicity, male, female, gender preference or gender identity – and for anyone in that room to let understanding [the] better situation.

A chance Newton hadn’t offered himself.

“I was really illiterate as to how other people thought because it wasn’t something I was aware of – especially in the environment I was in.”

Newton answered questions from evening host and CMS Foundation Executive Director Sonja Gantt as well as the kids, ranging from whether he would follow one of the college kids on Instagram – ‘it’ll cost you’, to how they’ll cost you. can make changes in their own world – “even if you look and say how big a big old world it is and I can’t affect that person and tell them not to be racist, but you can affect people who are around you the most – we can impact change in our own world and that makes the world a better place.

And when you’re an NFL quarterback who struggled with a shoulder injury in the second half of the 2018 season, questions will inevitably turn to football as you’ve been asked how that shoulder felt after a arthroscopic intervention in January.

“It’s okay,” said Newton, who said rumors that the 2015 MVP will be missing from the coming season should not be believed. ” Everyone is concerned ; I am preoccupied. Just seeing this as we go through the year and the expectations and just knowing that a lot of people are living vicariously through you.

“Not being able to perform at a high level like you are known to do was extremely frustrating. Going through the surgery and rehab programs now continues to give me confidence and confidence and confidence that I will be back this season.

But as Newton makes strides on the pitch, his responsibilities off the pitch are very important – being a unique person who not only embraces, but celebrates, his individuality makes him a role model for children of all walks of life, including those which are different from his. .

The Foundation will partner with the Winters Group, a global diversity and inclusion company specializing in creating transformative and sustainable solutions for organizations in support of their efforts to create more equitable and inclusive environments for more than thirty years. , to help these select college students from Alexander Graham, Piedmont IB and Sedgefield Colleges embrace diversity and find ways to change the world around them during two days full of learning and activity at the end of the month.

He wants to bring these kids together, discuss the issues each of them face, and find solutions in their own world – they might be surprised at how similar they are.

“It doesn’t matter how strange you may seem to someone else or what you may look like – what makes you different from others is the same thing that makes you yourself,” Newton said. “As you grow up and identify who you are as a person, there are going to be good times and there will be bad times and I think during the bad times is when your cast of. support catches up with you and says, “I’m here. I wanna hear you talk, I wanna see what’s going on, I wanna help and lead you in a way that you might not think I know, but know.

“I think it’s extremely important for these kids to have an outlet not only to talk, but also to offer them social issues that they want to talk about – and then we attack them like that.”

Josh k

Josh Klein is the editor of The Riot Report. His all-time favorite Panther is Chad Cota and he’s already chatted with Kevin Greene. Follow Josh on Twitter @joshkleinrules.

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