Once again, NFL style is making a headline in the sports news. So much stock and attention has been put into what the players are wearing and how their own personal stlye can play into the way they dress. Before and after games has become somewhat of a red carpet for the guys. Usually it is a huge positive and the worst thing that can happen comes when style critics are not impressed with their attire.
Disciplining a player for their attire? Has it been done before? Yes. Has it been done to one of the most famous quarterbacks in the game right now? This may be the first time. Cam Newton was benched for the first series against the Seahawks because of a travel dress code violation. Instead of wearing the normal suit and tie on the plane after the game, he dressed in a turtleneck and a jacket. Still sharp, we're sure, but not what the Panthers' rule book states.
Ron Riveria, Carolina Panthers coach, was the one to make the decision to bench Cam and he stands by this decision. He mentioned to the press that anyone with this offense on his team should be punished the same way...even if it is the quarterback of the team. Rules are rules. Newton did have a reasoning for why he did not wear a dress shirt and tie saying, "that he and most of the team shipped most of their packed clothes back to Charlotte from Seattle and by the time he realized he did not have the attire he needed, it was too late to try and find one in his size". Cam explained himself for why this mistake happened while also taking responsiblity for the offense. He mentioned that he understood why he had to be benched by Riveria.
Fans and others who had thoughts on this situation had many different opinions on how it should be handled. Riveria knew it was going to be controversial going into the benching of Cam but he knew he needed to stay by his decision. Respectable in our eyes. Riveria stated a few words that he says are what team owner Jerry Richardson stands by..."hard work, harmony, teamwork, listen, respect". Ron says "You can be who you are. You can keep your personality, but you've got to keep it within that framework".
Some may think the punishment is harsh but there are rules in every facet of society. It is a good sign and message the Cam understands this. A learning opportunity for him and hopefully others watching.