Will Brinson: Refs Are A Little Bias Against Cam Newton

After speaking out against NFL officiating following a 30-20 win over Arizona in Week 8, Cam Newton took even more punishment in a 13-10 win over Los Angeles in Week 9. Newton took a punishing hit from Rams linebacker Mark Barron on Sunday, with Barron giving Newton a forearm shiver and colliding with his helmet.

That play went unflagged.

Will anything change in terms of how officials treat Newton, or did he simply go about his grievances the wrong way from the start?

“I don’t think he went about it the wrong way, (but) I do think that it’s difficult to get change because of how the league operates,” CBS Sports NFL writer Will Brinson said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Even watching the plays over and over again in slow-mo, you almost have to sub in Tom Brady in the plays in question and imagine how many flags would be on the field after that point. There would be 700 flags. If Mark Barron forearm-shivered Tom Brady to the ground, he would be executed on live television by Roger Goodell. But (because) it’s Cam, it doesn’t look as dangerous because Cam is so big and he gets up so quickly. That’s the definition of the Shaquille O’Neal treatment.”

Gio and Jones wondered if officials have a bit of a grudge against Newton. After all, Newton claimed last season that Ed Hochuli told him he was too young to get certain calls in games.

Is there something to this? Do officials have a grudge against Newton?

“Mike Pereira said that he thinks Cam has developed a reputation as consistently whining,” Brinson said. “These guys are like old ladies in a hair salon. They talk, they’re hanging out, they’re chatting it up, they’re going back and forth about certain players, and my guess is at this point they’ve decided that Cam thinks he deserves too many calls, whereas they don’t see it as a situation where Cam does deserve the call. As a result, there’s probably a little bias against him. That’s a shame because that happens in every sport. You develop a reputation and, fair or unfair, it sure seems like Cam has a reputation for a guy who wants calls that the ref just says he’s not going to get.”

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