Panthers’ Cam Newton fined $21,000 for shoving ref
Midway through the fourth quarter, Cam Newton engaged in a heated argument with referee Jerome Boger over a hit he perceived to be late by Oakland Raiders safety Mike Mitchell. After failing to make his case for a penalty Cam Newton bumped Jerome Boger, for which the referee flagged him for unsportsmanlike conduct.
It was evident even before the end of the game when Jerome Boger referred to the quarterback’s actions as "disrepecting an official,” that Cam Newton was in deep trouble.
Although Cam Newton already seemed to have apologized to Jerome Boger for the contact, the Carolina Panthers 23-year-old issued a regretful apology yet again in a press conference after the Carolina Panthers’ 17-6 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
"The words that I said during the game were very disrespectful and I apologized to him during the game,” said Cam Netwon, “but I'm going public and apologizing again. It was something in the heat of the moment."
It was admittedly an emotional game for the second-year pro, who was hit several times behind a crumbling Carolina Panthers’ offensive line. Earlier in the game, Cam Newton frustratedly kicked Tommy Kelly off him after getting sacked by the Oakland Raiders defensive tackle. Tommy Kelly was ultimately called for unnecessary roughness on the play.
However, that’s no excuse for making contact with a referee, and Cam Newton admitted he had a lot of growing up to do.
"I have to learn to control what I can control,” Cam Newton said after the lapse of his emotions.
On his part, Jerome Boger came down a little soft on Cam Newton, who’s he could have easily ejected from the game for making contact with a referee. NFL’s case state so that such a situation should result in immediate ejection (like the Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith’s case), but Jerome Boger probably didn’t want to send a starting quarterback packing to the locker room.
Many had speculated whether the incident could result in a suspension, as the NFL has a stringent policy against contact with the referees. Earlier in the year, the NFL made an example out of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick by fining him $50,000 for grabbing a referees’ arm, but Cam Newton’s quick-thinking apology probably saved the day.
The Carolina Panthers play in their season finale against the New Orleans on Sunday, and luckily for them Cam Newton will be active on the roster.