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Cam Newton says he's vaccinated and people need to stop judging others: 'Do what's right for you'

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NFL free agent quarterback Cam Newton spoke out against what he called a "judgement realm" surrounding the issue of COVID-19 vaccines, urging people to make their own decisions according to what they believe is in their best interests.

"You have to do what's right for you," Newton, 32, said in a video posted Sunday on his YouTube channel. He said that judging another person based on their vaccination status is "not going to get us nowhere but angry at each other."

"Whether a person gets vaccinated or not, in my honest opinion, that's a personal decision and I think it should be respected as such," he said, before announcing that after his initial reluctance to get the shot, he talked to his doctor and got vaccinated so he can play football again.

"I got my vaccination card. I want to play football. And stop damn judging people if they do or if they don't got the vaccination," he said.

Newton, a former MVP, played in 15 games with the New England Patriots last year. Before the 2021 season began, was released by the team, which is starting rookie Mac Jones, after missing three practices because of a "misunderstanding" of COVID-19 protocols. Coach Bill Belichick denied that Newton's vaccination status was a factor in the decision to release the quarterback.

In Sunday's video, Newton said that while he was playing for the New England Patriots, he decided not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 because of his concerns with possible side effects. He repeatedly said that people need to do what's best for them when it comes to vaccination, and that whatever they choose, they should not be judged for their decision.

"Some people are in a position where they deem for religious purposes or personal reasons that it's not beneficial for them, and that's not to say that they're living careless, that they're living in this barbaric manner to bring harm to other people, because there's people who are vaccinated that still could potentially catch COVID!" said Newton.

"One thing I do know, as long as there are two people left on this earth there will always be differences. And I'll I'm trying to say is, it's still a personal decision," he added.

Now that he's vaccinated, Newton says he's been contacted by multiple NFL teams about a spot on their rosters but the right opportunity hasn't yet come around.

"I still get that urge to go out and perform and do something that I've been doing since I was 7-years-old," Newton said. "But also, it's like, man, I'm so much more than just a football player. Respect me as such."

The decision about which offer to accept, just like the decision to get vaccinated, is a choice Newton says he will make according to what he thinks is best.

"It's all apart of the melting pot of do what's best for you and do not allow nobody else to make you think anything different, whether you get the shot or don't, just stay healthy.

"And I think, if you can get that through your thick head and your thick skull, we all will be alright."

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