High school football player apologizes for spat with Cam Newton

Feb. 22 (UPI) — A high school football player who was caught on video trash-talking current New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has apologized to the former NFL MVP after the exchange between them circulated on social media over the weekend.

In an abbreviated part of the video, Newton was repeatedly taunted as an upcoming free agent who was “about to be poor.” The spat occurred at a 7-on-7 football tournament, with Newton coaching his team through his charity foundation.

The young player, Jseth Owens of Perkiomen Valley High School in Pennsylvania, offered an apology on social media Sunday night for his role in the incident.

“As a football player I let my competitive side get the best of me,” Owens wrote on Twitter. “… I realize this can dictate my future as a young man having very big dreams/goals but I will not allow this to stop me from getting where I need to be.”

Earlier Sunday, Newton shared an extended video of the exchange in a lengthy Instagram post. In the video, the two have a calmer exchange about their previous verbal battle.

“People often forget as athletes that are often seen on TV — loved by most, hated by some — we are real dads, real friends, real brothers, real sons, real human beings,” Newton wrote. “With that being said, when I attend tournaments all across the country with my all-star team, I have given my time, my energy and my expertise to these kids coming into our program for over 11 years and that is not what people want to hear or even want to see.

“People want to see me arguing with another young man and to see me ‘get in my feelings.’ But the truth is this, I impact kids’ lives in a positive way. Make no mistake about it, I allow kids to realize their ‘out’ by using their football talents to get them to the next level and in most cases out of the hood.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette, Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay, Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron and Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons were among the NFL players who voiced their support for Newton following the exchange.

Newton, who spent the 2020 season with the Patriots after nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers, is set to become an unrestricted free agent this year. The 31-year-old Newton previously said he has no plans to retire ahead of the 2021 campaign.

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