Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton came under fire following yesterday’s Super Bowl, but not for his on-the-field play in their loss to the Broncos. The young quarterback received major criticism after sulking and abruptly walking out of the post-Super Bowl press conference.
After giving a handful of very short answers to the media, a visibly frustrated Newton simply stood up and left the room less than three minutes into the conversation. Newton’s behavior was immediately condemned by a number of press outlets, fellow athletes and NFL officials.
“You are the face of our brand right now, you can’t do that,” said NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer and sports analyst Deion Sanders.
Often criticized for being immature and having a short temper, this was an ideal opportunity for Newton to prove his critics wrong and handle his super bowl loss with composure and professional attitude. Instead, by giving in to his frustration, the 26-year-old star inadvertently confirmed the worst of his criticisms.
As a young, highly talented athlete who helped lead his franchise to their first Super Bowl appearance since 2004, he has been touted as the future face of the NFL. So as Sanders rightly noted, Newton’s behavior was detrimental not only for his own personal brand, but for his team and the whole league.
Whether you are an athlete, a corporate CEO, or just the average person posting to social media, it is important to understand how your words and actions can impact the personal and professional brand you represent. Of course, it is never easy to lose, but airing out your frustrations will almost always create an aftermath worse than the loss itself.