NFL: Cam Newton won’t be disciplined for sign-snatching incident

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton celebrates a touchdown pass against the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 8.

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton celebrates a touchdown pass against the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 8.

(Streeter Lecka / Getty Images)

Cam Newton isn’t the type of guy who would eat one restaurant’s hamburger at an outlet of a rival chain.

And the Carolina quarterback is definitely not the type who is going to tolerate seeing a banner for another team hanging in the Panthers’ stadium.

Before Sunday’s game against Green Bay at Bank of America Stadium, Newton noticed a group of fans holding a Packers banner from the front row of one of the end zones.


Newton took offense and decided to do something about it.

After the game, Newton used the burger-joint analogy to explain his actions.

“It wasn’t necessarily about taking down a sign. It was respect,” Newton told reporters after the game.

“I was passing, the sign was dangling, either somebody was going to have to take it off or I take it off. It’s not disrespect to nobody. It’s just more of a respect to the stadium. We all know gangs. We all know territories. We all know businesses. You’re not about to sit up here and sell a Whopper at no McDonald’s, you know what I’m saying?”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Associated Press via that Newton will not be disciplined in the matter and there is “no issue here at the league” with the incident.

Needless to say, the fans who brought the sign were not happy. Mike Dobs, an Army veteran and recent candidate for Fayetteville City Council, said he paid $500 to have the sign made to hang in his home earlier this year.

Dobs said he and his group brought the banner so his grandchildren back in Fayetteville would see them on TV. Dobs was attending the game as a military guest as part of the NFL’s Salute to Service campaign.

“We thought it was a joke at first,” Dobs said of Newton snatching the sign from their hands, “but he never came back with the banner. That’s when I went to security and told them he stole it.”

The 50-year-old Dobs added: “It’s not about money. I just want my sign back.”

But Dobs said he was told it had been destroyed. His daughter, Kristen Sessoms, said the family has been receiving threats via social media and email since the incident.
“I followed all the rules. I got pre-approval to have that banner and look what it got me,” Dobs said. “We were shocked. When Cam ran up, we thought he was going to talk to us, or even sign our banner. But instead he ripped it out of our hands and almost took my son-in-law’s finger with it.”

Dobs took up the issue with police and Panthers management. He said he was told the organization would somehow compensate him.

Not sure exactly what that means, but Dobs has at least one idea: “I’d like an apology from Can Newton for one thing.”

Panthers Coach Ron Rivera mentioned the incident briefly Monday while talking to reporters. “It’s being taken care of. Cam’s been talked to. We are reaching out to the other party. And we’re moving on,” he said.


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