Why Deion Sanders was factually wrong when ridiculing Cam Newton

Photo: A.R. Shaw

Deion Sanders was the latest NFL analyst to blast Cam Newton for leaving the post-game media conference at the Super Bowl. Newton apparently left the media room after overhearing a Denver Broncos player discussing how they defended Newton. The comments struck a nerve and Newton exited the media room.

Sanders responded to Newton’s actions by saying, “I understand the emotions of losing, but you can’t do that … A [Peyton] Manning, a [Tom] Brady — all these guys that have been a prototypical type of quarterback in our game, they’re not going to do that ever. Would Drew Brees ever? You’re opening yourself for more criticism, because everybody is going to say you’re dabbing and smiling and smiling and styling. So this is how you go out when you lose?”

Sanders seemed sincere in his message, but he was factually wrong. Just six years ago, Manning lost the 2010 Super Bowl to the New Orleans Saints. Moments after losing, Manning stormed off of the field. It’s tradition for quarterbacks to shake hands after a game, but Manning didn’t attempt to stay around to shake Brees’ hand. Most of the media basically made an excuse for Manning by claiming that he was just competitive and desired a victory. There wasn’t much of an issue and Manning never faced what Newton has gone through in the last 24 hours.

And in December 2015, Tom Brady left a press conference after only answering two questions. When asked about his friendship with known bigot Donald Trump, Brady went silent and exited the press conference only a few minutes after it began. Brady also didn’t receive much backlash.

Moreover, Sanders also had moments of immaturity during his playing days. After analyst Tim McCarver criticized Sanders for playing two pro sports on the same day in 1992, Sanders responded by throwing three buckets of ice water on McCarver while he was attempting to do interviews in the Atlanta Braves locker room. McCarver viewed the incident as a cowardly act by Sanders. It was basically a childish reaction from a grown man who considered himself a professional.

Sanders was passionate about his words to Newton, but he failed to do his research before speaking. Manning and Brady have had moments of immaturity. Sanders must have also forgotten about the time when he was a young athlete who didn’t always react with the composure that he desires from Newton.

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