After bulldozing a few hapless Titan defenders on his way to his 6th rushing touchdown of the season, Cam Newton, the Carolina Panthers quarterback who doubles as a battering ram in short-yardage situations, celebrated by “dabbing on them folks.” This was not the first time Cam Newton celebrated in this fashion, as he has been ‘dabbin’ for weeks now. The ‘dab’ dance was birthed in Atlanta over the summer and popularized by rap artists such as Migos and Future. Like its predecessors, the ‘whip’ and ‘nae-nae’, ‘dabbin’ has become the premier celebration of a number of collegiate and professional footballers since the seasons kicked off in the fall.


On Sunday, he debuted an extended rendition of the ‘dab’ during the Panthers’ 27-10 domination of the Tennessee Titans, much to the chagrin of Titans linebacker, Avery Williamson. During the postgame presser, Cam was quoted as saying “I’m a firm believer of if you don’t like me doing it, then don’t let me in (the end zone).” It’s inevitable that NFL defenses will not always succeed at doing that, which is normal. However, it’s abnormal to suddenly morph into the etiquette police, instead of trotting off the field to convene with your defensive teammates and coaches to discuss how to prevent the aforementioned dance, especially when you were dancing after a sack on Cam Newton earlier in the game. I digress.

Today, the plot thickened when we learned that a Nashville woman wrote a letter in which she lectured Cam Newton, and sent it to the Charlotte Observer.

Via the Charlotte Observer:

“Because of where we sat, we had a close up view of your conduct in the fourth quarter. The chest puffs. The pelvic thrusts. The arrogant struts and the ‘in your face’ taunting of both the Titans’ players and fans. We saw it all.

I refuse to believe you don’t realize you are a role model. You are paid millions of dollars every week to play hard and be a leader. In the off season you’re expected to make appearances, support charities, and inspire young kids to pursue your sport and all sports. With everything the NFL has gone through in recent years, I’m confident they have advised that you are, by virtue of your position and career choice, a role model…. My daughter sensed the change immediately – and started asking questions. Won’t he get in trouble for doing that? Is he trying to make people mad? Do you think he knows he looks like a spoiled brat?

I didn’t have great answers for her, and honestly, in an effort to minimize your negative impact and what was otherwise a really fun day, I redirected her attention to the cheerleaders and mascot.”


Rosemary Plorin, the concerned mom who wrote this letter, got it wrong. Was this the first NFL game she has ever seen? In a sport where 300-pound defensive lineman do belly rolls after sacking opposing quarterbacks, what was so appalling about Cam Newton’s celebration? The pelvic thrusts? Wrong game. Carson Palmer who plays for a different team and looks nothing like Cam Newton was the one who executed the pelvic thrust in celebration on Sunday. To question the character of a player based off an exaggerated reaction to a popular dance done in jest, seems a bit whiny.  Furthermore, to suggest that somehow Cam Newton’s “conduct in the fourth quarter” negatively impacted your daughter and renders him incapable of being a role model, is laughable. You attended the game on your own free will, not at the request of Cam Newton, who plays for the opposing team, so he does not owe you humility.  

The NFL is a multibillion-dollar entity and is by far the most popular sport in America despite its violent nature. It did not attain this feverish success on the principle of sportsmanship. Sportsmanship is for children. Don’t place more importance on professional athletes being good role models over parents being good parents. It’s better that way.

The Carolina Panthers are 9-0 and Cam Newton is having an MVP season. Having said that, he gets to ‘dab on them folks’ whenever he wants. If you don’t like Cam Newton, then say it. Don’t embellish and take things so personally. Football is a game and games are meant to entertain.

I believe the questions from that one movie are: Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?