High school football player apologizes for heckling Cam Newton at youth tournament

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Chuck Schilken
·3 min read
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New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton walks along the sideline in the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton walks along the sideline during a game against the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 28 in Foxborough, Mass. (Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

A high school football player has apologized after a video went viral of him yelling insults at Cam Newton during a seven-on-seven youth tournament where the New England Patriots quarterback was coaching a team.

The clip showed Jseth Owens of Perkiomen Valley High School in Pennsylvania on a sideline repeatedly yelling to the 2015 NFL MVP that he was about to become "a free agent" and "poor" after a disappointing 2020 NFL season.

In the clip, Newton responds, "I'm rich," multiple times before asking to speak with Owens' father. The clip was tweeted with the caption "Cam got a little triggered."

Owens took to Twitter late Sunday night to "express my deepest apologies to Cam Newton, my entire org. & my coaches for my actions at the 7v7 tournament this past weekend."

"My parents never taught me to [be] disrespectful," Owens wrote. "As a football player I let my competitive side get the best of me & it was a huge miscommunication. It was in the midst of the moment & I realize now how a lot of you took it as disrespect. I never meant to humiliate & let anyone down."

The clip garnered attention from a number of NFL players who indicated the young player should have shown more respect for and maybe tried to learn something from a player of Newton's stature.

Newton took to social media Sunday to address the situation, saying that he hadn't been triggered by Owens but that "instead of speaking or going back and forth with a child, I wanted to have a man to man conversation with his father."

Newton added that rather than focus on a negative occurrence at a youth event, more emphasis should be placed on the positive impact the programs and their coaches can have on the young players.

"As athletes that are often seen on TV, loved by most, hated by some, people often forget we are real dads, real friends, real brothers, real sons, real human beings, etc!!" Newton wrote on Instagram and Facebook posts. "With that being said, when I attend tournaments all across the country with my all-star team, I have given my time, my energy and my expertise to these kids coming into our program for over 11 years and that is not what people want to hear or even want to see.

"People want to see me arguing with another young man and to see me 'get in my feelings.' But the truth is this, I impact kids' lives in a positive way, make no mistake about it, I allow kids to realize [their] 'out' by using [their] football talents to get them to the next level and in most cases out of the hood!!"

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.