But when one Seahawks fan dangled a "12" flag near Newton, he grabbed it, crumpled it up and tossed it -- all with a smile on his face.
As the Seahawks prepare to host the Panthers on Sunday night, cornerback Richard Sherman was asked if Newton crossed the line with his gesture.
"Yeah, he probably did," Sherman said. "I guess karma gets you. It doesn't look like you're going to be in the playoffs this year."
Carolina is in last place in the NFC South with a 4-7 record. The Seahawks are 7-3-1 and in first place in the NFC West.
The Seahawks played the Panthers twice last year -- once in the regular season and again in the playoffs -- and lost both times.