Jerry Richardson, the 75-year-old North Carolina native who owns the Carolina Panthers, went on Charlie Rose recently and was asked about Cam Newton, the QB his franchise took first in the 2011 draft. If You Tube is blocked at work, here’s what Richardson said about a meeting with Newton (the story is old news, from April; the Rose interview sprung it national):
“Do you have any tattoos?”
“No sir, I don’t have any.”
“Do you have any piercings?”
“No sir, I don’t have any.”
“Good,” Richardson said he responded. “We want to keep it that way.”
The closed-cropped Newton then said he was thinking about letting his hair grow. Richardson’s response:
“I think you have a very nice haircut.”
Because there’s so little else going on in the sports world – there’s only one MLB pennant race, the NBA is locked out, everyone’s already beaten Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow to death and nobody cares about the Little League World Series – this will probably be a talking point in the sports world for the next two days. A race discussion! Awesome!
My answer is simple: Kevin Durant.
Remember when he arrived in the NBA and was championed as just what the league needs – a clean cut, tattoo-less star? Kobe had ink! LeBron had ink! Shaq had ink! Boy, that Kevin Durant, how refreshing!
Well, that myth was shattered this summer. Nobody’s impression of Kevin Durant as a person was changed when his “business tattoos” were revealed.
If I had to blindly guess, I’d say half of the Panthers have tattoos. They just retained one with ink (Steve Smith). And signed another (Jeremy Shockey). Nobody cares. Nor should they. They’re football players. This isn’t a business environment where appearances are of the utmost importance.
Hey Jerry Richardson, if Cam Newton gets tattoos and earrings in the offseason and they go 12-4 in 2012, will you trade him?
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