CHARLOTTE -- Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton defended how he handled himself with the media after his team lost to the Broncos in Super Bowl 50, saying he's a "sore loser."
The newly crowned league MVP walked out on reporters Sunday after answering only a handful of questions, mostly with short, soft-spoken answers.
"I've been on record to say I'm a sore loser,'' Newton said Tuesday as players cleaned out their lockers. "Who likes to lose? You show me a good loser and I'm going to show you a loser. It's not a popularity contest. I'm here to win football games.''
He said if he offended anyone, "that's cool," and that he would not change his persona to appease anyone.
Newton hasn't spoken to the media in his previous four seasons on the day players clean out their lockers, but he felt compelled to talk on Tuesday amid criticism of him. As he was speaking, teammates stood around him, shouting "we love Cam."
"I've got no more tears to cry," Newton said. "I've obviously had a lot of time to think about it. I've seen so much blown out of proportion.
"At the end of the day, when you invest so much time and sacrifice so much and things don't go as planned, the emotions take over. That's what happens. As far as trying to be like this person, trying to be like that person ... the truth of the matter is I'm not trying to be like this person.
"This is a great league with or without me. I am my own person. I said it since day one. I am who I am. I know what I'm capable of and I know where I'm going. I don't have to conform to anybody else's wants for me to do. I'm not that guy."
Newton also defended himself for not diving to try to recover his fumble in the fourth quarter that eventually was recovered by the Broncos. Denver went on to score a touchdown to put the game out of reach.
He said that he would have risked injury by diving as it would have meant he would have had to twist his leg in an awkward direction.
Newton said that if he had thrown an interception and not tried to make the tackle to avoid an injury he likely would have not heard any complaints.
"We didn't lose that game because of that fumble. I can tell you that," he said.
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