Charlotte artist’s painting of Cam Newton brawl goes viral

Each and every day is a canvas waiting to be painted, and this past Sunday was waiting for the stroke of Cepeda Brunson.

Last weekend, Carolina Panthers legend Cam Newton found himself in a wild altercation during a 7-on-7 youth football tournament in Atlanta, Ga. The incident was captured on video and caught fire on social media—as the 6-foot-5, 245-pound quarterback was shown manhandling, to a near-comical degree, a pair of combatants who were later identified as two opposing coaches.

Brunson, a Charlotte-based artist, found inspiration in the preposterous scuffle and put the scene on canvas. He then put the canvas on an Instagram post, synchronized to the appropriate sounds of Tobe Nwigwe’s “TRY JESUS.”

“When I first watched the video I knew it was one of those moments I had to put on canvas,” Brunson told us. “The video was hilarious, the way Cam tossed those guys around while being punched, and his hat stayed on his head was iconic. Cam showed strength and restraint I think he should be acknowledged for trying to stop the brawl from going further.”

Entitled “Quarterback Brawl,” the painting has made its own rounds online. In fact, former Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart and defensive end Charles Johnson, two ex-teammates of Newton’s, even commented on Brunson’s post:


This isn’t the first time one of Brunson’s pieces has seized widespread attention. His post of “Fade In The Water,” a painting depicting the viral Montgomery Riverfront brawl from this past summer, has received over 2.5 million views and 187,000 likes on Instagram since August.

And like “Fade In The Water,” which is also set to Nwigwe’s stylings, Brunson believes “Quarterback Brawl” will continue to captivate observers.

“You know fighting—whether it’s wrestling, boxing, MMA, or regular neighborhood fights—we’ve all come to see it as entertainment,” he stated. “There’s awards for best fight scenes in movies. So I think many people will enjoy ‘Quarterback Brawl’ just the same as ‘Fade In The Water.'”

While the subjects of such work may be considered shocking to some, Brunson aims to bring awareness to drugs and violence within the nation’s communities. And in doing so, he hopes to maintain a meaningful balance of enlightenment and entertainment.

“Sometimes those striking images is what grabs people’s attention for just enough time, which will allow me to send an important message. There’s a lot going on in people’s lives, so we have to be creative to reach the masses. For those that see my work, I would like for them to have an open heart and open mind to understand.”

As for his striking image of Newton, the message has certainly been received.

(For more of Brunson’s work, visit

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire