The likely reason Cam Newton walked out of his postgame news conference

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton walked out of his postgame news conference after the Panthers lost to the Broncos in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday. But it seems there is more to the story.

The Super Bowl is football’s biggest stage. More than 100 million people watched as the Broncos stifled the Panthers offense and frustrated Newton all night.

Newton and his teammates were asked to sit in front of reporters and answer questions after the loss. This is normal in the NFL and like it or not, it’s part of the job.

Reporters asked Newton several questions, but the final question was asked about three minutes into the news conference:

“I know you’re disappointed not just for yourself, but for your teammates. It’s got to be real tough.”

When the reporter finished asking the question, Newton stood up and walked out.

Many people assumed it was the question that prompted Newton to walk out, but several people who were at the news conference said Newton was visibly upset by comments made by Chris Harris Jr., a cornerback for the Broncos, who was being interviewed nearby.

On video, Harris can be heard saying:

“That was the game plan. Load the box, force ya’ll to throw the ball. Can you throw the football? That was the game plan. Load the box, one-on-one outside. They got a couple big plays, but I feel like me, [Aqib] Talib and [Bradley] Roby, we were able to come back and make more plays to shut them down.”

At the point where Harris can be heard saying “force ya’ll to throw the ball. Can you throw the ball?” Newton cut his eyes to the right at Harris. He then stands up and walks out.

According to several sportswriters who cover the NFL, the interview setup was normal for the Super Bowl. Players are typically separated by curtains or partitions during postgame interviews.

Harris, when told his comments likely caused Newton to abruptly end his postgame conference, said:

While Newton appeared to be less than thrilled during his postgame news conference, he shared a positive moment with Peyton Manning after the game was over. Manning talked to the “Today Show” on Monday and described Newton as “humble” during their brief chat on the field.

“Cam could not have been nicer to me. He was extremely humble. He congratulated me, wished me the best. I told him congratulations on his outstanding season and what a great future he has ahead of him. He’ll be back in that game, I can promise you. I have been on that side of it. It is tough. It’s not an easy pill to swallow. He was very nice to me, and I really appreciated that,” Manning said.