Cam Newton is still a Falcons fan

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton probably left himself open to some criticism when he had some kind words to say about a division rival.

“I’ve always been a Falcons fan and I’m still a Falcons fan except for those two times a year (when the Panthers play Atlanta),’’ Newton said.

Before anyone goes comparing Newton to San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick, who took all kinds of heat after he was seen wearing a Miami Dolphins hat, let’s put this in perspective.

Newton’s comments came while he was making an appearance in Atlanta for his foundation. Newton grew up in the Atlanta area, so it’s only natural he followed the Falcons as a youth. Besides, Newton would have given the Falcons bulletin-board material if he said he despised them.

Newton previously has said he plays with a chip on his shoulder whenever he faces the Falcons. Atlanta may be Newton’s second-favorite team. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as he’s doing everything he can to beat the Falcons when he plays against them.