Panthers QB Newton: I don’t feel protected by NFL officials

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) lies on the turf after a roughing the passer penalty on Denver Broncos free safety Darian Stewart (26) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in Denver. The Broncos won 21-20. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) lies on the turf after a roughing the passer penalty on Denver Broncos free safety Darian Stewart (26) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in Denver. The Broncos won 21-20. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Panthers quarterback Cam Newton doesn’t feel protected by NFL officials on the field, saying it is “taking the fun out of the game for me.”

The league’s reigning MVP said he simply doesn’t get the same calls that other QBs in the league get – and that it is unfair.

“Enough is enough,” Newton said after Carolina’s 30-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals. “I don’t think there’s a person that can go through what I go through and keep their head, you know what I’m saying? Hits to the head, that’s one thing, but when you’re not protected in the pocket, that’s another thing. It became the story of my life ever since I came in (to the league). It’s always, ‘Oh, we missed that, I’m sorry.’ That’s bull c—.”

Newton said he plans to talk to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about why he is treated differently than other QBs.

“I just can’t keep accepting, ‘Oh, we missed that one,’ or ‘I apologize for doing that’ or ‘I didn’t see it.'” Newton said. “That’s horse c—. Coming from a person who’s been fined before, coming from a person who everybody’s expecting a lot from, I’m still going. But yet, when you constantly see the hits, when you constantly see flags being picked up and flags not being thrown, and to see other quarterbacks getting it for lesser physical hits, it’s taking the fun for me out.

“I’m just being honest about that.”

Newton said the “breaking point” for him came in the third quarter when Arizona defensive tackle Calais Campbell came crashing into Newton’s knees, reminiscent of the hit that sidelined Tom Brady in 2008.

Newton was slow to get up, but Campbell was not penalized for the hit.

The league’s competition committee adopted a clarification of the rule on hits to a quarterback in the knee area or below the following offseason, prohibiting a defender on the ground that hasn’t been blocked or fouled directly into the quarterback from lunging or diving at the quarterback’s lower legs.

“I could have torn my ACL,” Newton said.

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