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NFL QB Cam Newton Takes Surprising Stance on Racism, Gets Ripped Apart by Critics

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"I don't want this to be about race, because it's not. It's not. Like, we're beyond that."

Running back Jonathan Stewart (28) of the Carolina Panthers Panthers celebrates with quarterback Cam Newton (1) after a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC divisional playoffs, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. The Panthers won 31-24. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton came under a flurry of harsh criticism on Monday after he denied football fans are “racist” toward him and said America is now “beyond” race.

Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) celebrates his team's 15-1 regular season record following an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. The Panthers won 38-10. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

“It’s not racism,” Newton said of the criticism he gets from NFL fans. “Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion.”

GQ writer Zach Baron pressed the issue, asking the star QB “what is it” if it’s not racism. He also reminded Newton of his January remarks in which he said: “I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to.”

“I don’t want this to be about race, because it’s not. It’s not. Like, we’re beyond that. As a nation,” Newton replied.

“You really think so?” the writer interjected.

Newton then replied, “Yeah. I mean, you bring it to people’s attention. But after that, that’s it.”

The backlash to Newton’s racism comments was quick and unforgiving.

Read Newton's entire GQ interview here.

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