As long as first overall pick Cam Newton is under center for the Carolina Panthers, he shouldn’t consider the notion of going under the needle at a tattoo parlor.
Sports Business Daily, a sister publication of Sporting News, reports Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has put the kibosh on the rookie quarterback having any kind of body art or piercings while he’s a member of the team.
SBD cites an interview with PBS talk show host Charlie Rose in which Richardson shared how he told the currently Newton, who has no tattoos or piercings, that “We want to keep it that way.”
In the same chat, Richardson noted he told Newton, who was recently featured in a fashion spread for GQ magazine, that he was “dressed perfectly” and “had a very nice haircut.” In response to Rose telling him “You sound like a Lombardi”, Richardson came back with: “No, I just sound reasonable to me”.
When Richardson sees a talented young franchise quarterback in his own division, the Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan, with a clean-cut look – one that has earned Ryan an endorsement deal with Gillette – he wants Newton to present himself as a similar face of the franchise.
Richardson can expect sartorial splendor from Newton and is fortunate to have drafted a very image-conscious quarterback. So the tattoos and piercings look like a non-issue.
The statement, however, could be perceived as a slight knock on the Panthers player that has been Richardson’s most visible offensive skill player over the past several seasons: Wide receiver Steve Smith. Smith has several tattoos, including, appropriately, for his 5-9 stature, one of Papa Smurf. Superman and the Tasmanian Devil are also represented. Cartoon and comic-book characters don’t exactly spell thuggery, do they?
So the Panthers hope Newton can deliver a strong arm as their top-flight passer, but just as long as he doesn’t do it with an image of Popeye on his biceps.