Carolina Panthers' starting quarterback Cam Newton is one of the most maligned players in the NFL. A polarizing character, reception of Newton into NFL circles began with critiquing the credulity of his smile, and not even a month ago the franchise QB was presented as an egotistical malcontent at the Pro Bowl-- a ten-month old story, that helps paint a picture of Newton as prima donna. His demeanor on the field gives his critics more fuel, but it's the quiet stories like his steadfast commitment to charity that all too quickly get swept under the rug, while his detractors wait for the next time he'll slip up.
Earlier this year Newton pledged $150,000 to the Charlotte school system, and now he's gone a step further. Erik Spanberg of the Charlotte Business Journal reports that Cam gave a huge last-second donation to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of greater Charlotte. While the dollar amount has not been disclosed, the funds will be used to pay for the organization's holiday party -- held at the Discovery Place. The 300 attendees will have an opportunity to meet Carolina's quarterback, as he will be on-hand to deliver gifts to children, and host a question and answer session.
This sort of story wont likely cause many football fans to bat an eyelid, especially those who have already made up their minds about Newton. However, for those 300 children who get a chance to spend time with a local hero -- they have a pretty good idea of where his heart is, and whether his smile is genuine.