During the Carolina Panthers' Week 8 game against the Arizona Cardinals, quarterback Cam Newton received a scary hit to the new which was dealt by defensive end Calais Campbell. Although Newton was able to walk away without an apparent injury, the hit raised an issue regarding the players' safety and how referees officiate games.
The hit on Newton happened during the third quarter of the match. As Newton stepped pack to execute a pass, Calais dove at the quarterback and delivered a forceful hit on his knee with his shoulder. Surprisingly, despite the nature of the tackle, no flag was thrown and Campbell was not reprimanded for his actions, even though many believe that he should have been penalized.
As noted by Mike Pereira, a rules analyst for Fox Sports, the hit by Campbell on Newton is considered illegal because it was forceful.
"Look, it's legal to hit a quarterback in the knee area or below as long as it's not forceful and is a swipe with the arm," he said. "The referee has to make that decision. In this case to me it was the shoulder to the knee area, and that would make it forceful. In this case, I clearly do think it was a foul."
As for Newton, he responded to the controversial incident by calling out the referees who officiated the match. Aside from the fact that they were not able to do their jobs properly, he noted that hits like that could seriously injure someone.
"I don't think there's a person that can go through what I go through and still keep their heads," he said. "Hits to the head, that's one thing. But when you're not protected in the pocket, that's another thing."
"The story of my life ever since I came in is, ‘Oh, oh well, we missed one. I'm sorry. I'll try to get it,'" he added. "That's bullcrap. As a player in this league if we do something stupid we get fined. If you do something derogatory to somebody else, we get fined. I just keep accepting, ‘Oh, we missed that one.' Or ‘I apologize for doing that.' Or ‘I didn't see it.' That's horsecrap."
Newton noted that he plans on meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to talk about the matter.