CHARLOTTE - Most of Cam Newton's regularly scheduled Wednesday news conference had nothing to do with the Panthers' upcoming game against the Vikings.
Instead, Newton was asked about the fatal shooting of Keith Scott and protests that erupted in northeast Charlotte Tuesday night.
"My heart mourns for the family," Newton said. "But I just don't know enough info now."
Newton repeatedly came back to the word accountable, saying it's everyone's responsibility to take ownership of their actions.
"We've all got to be held accountable," he said. "When is enough enough?"
Newton mostly toed the line between both sides of the issue, and called the number of police shootings "embarrassing," and said speaking out on race relations can put him in a "lose-lose" situation.
“It could’ve happened in Atlanta, it could’ve happened in Los Angeles, it doesn’t matter,” Newton said. “It’s embarrassing for things to just keep happening.”
The reigning NFL MVP spoke to the finality of a person being shot and killed by the police and even broached the possibility that he could be a victim of police brutality.
"I have a son and daughter I'm responsible for," Newton said. "How would it be if one day they come home and there's no more daddy?"
Head Coach Ron Rivera said it was unfair that the city looks to the team for direction during issues like these, but stood behind Newton's comments.
"I think he's very thoughtful when he talks about this city and his feelings," Rivera said. "He thinks before he speaks."
Rivera, who was named 2015 NFL Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, said he doesn't monitor his players on social media, stressing the importance of letting them be themselves.
"I let them be who they are because that's what it's about," Rivera said. "They should be able to talk to me and express it."
Rivera said the most effective way to change things is to vote, "maybe instead of tearing up our city."
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