On his nine-year anniversary of being arrested with a stolen laptop while the backup quarterback at the University of Florida in 2008, Newton posted his police mug shot with a message of things he is thankful for.
į ¢öñtëmplâtëd pöštįñg thįš âñd ëvëñ rëlü¢tâñt âböüt įt büt âš į thįñk âböüt mÿ lįfë âñd thë MÅNŸ thįñgš įm THÅNKFŪŁ för; į wâñt tö bë âñ Ø₽ËN böök šö pëöplë ¢âñ hërë mÿ tëštįmöñÿ âñd lëârñ fröm thë FŁÅ₩š âñd mįštâkëš į MÅDË❗️öñ thįš dâÿ 11/21/2008 į wâš ârrëštëd för â štölëñ ŁÅ₽töp âñd įm šürë ÿöür âškįñg ÿöüršëlf whërë įš hë göįñg wįth thįš štörÿ büt thë mörâl öf thë štörÿ įš thįš.... öñ thįš dâtë į THØŪGHT mÿ lįfë âñd mÿ ¢ârëër wâš ØVËR âñd thë fâ¢t thât į hâd šhâmëd mÿ fâmįlÿ wįth thë mëdįâ ¢övërâgë šürröüñdįñg thįš šįtüâtįöñ į vöwëd tö mÿšëlf öñ thįš dâÿ (9ÿrš âgö) thât "į wįll ßË ßËTTËR fröm thįš šįtüâtįöñ" whât ÿöü müšt lëârñ fröm thįš štörÿ įš thįš; įf ÿöü lįvë ÿöür lįfë lįštëñįñg tö whât ØTHËR pëöplë ârë šâÿįñg whât ÿöü šhöüld dö ÅND NØT ŸØŪR Ø₩N; šhâmë öñ ŸØŪ! į ¢âñ höñëštlÿ šâÿ tö ÿöü tödâÿ thât NØöñë gâvë më â ¢hâñ¢ë tö šü¢¢ëëd döwñ bâd įñ mÿ šįtüâtįöñ âñd įf į wöüld hâvë lįštëñëd tö thöšë pëöplë thât šâįd į €ÅNT, ₩HØ KNØ₩š whërë į wöüld bë tödâÿ. šö įm ËXTRËMËŁŸ THÅNKFŪŁ FØR GØDš mër¢ÿ, grâ¢ë, âñd FÅVØR övër mÿ Ł1FË; šö įf į ¢âñ dö įt wįth mÿ ¢įr¢ümštâñ¢ëš šürëlÿ ÿöü ¢âñ dö įt âñd ßË ₩HÅTËVËR ŸØŪ ₩ÅNT TØ ßË wįth HÅRD ₩ØRK âñd ₽ËR$1$TËN€Ë❗️ -1ØVË šįdë NØTË: âñd pëöplë wöñdër whÿ į plâÿ thë gâmë thë wâÿ į dö, â¢t thë wâÿ į â¢t, drëšš thë wâÿ į drëšš, âñd ëvëñ Ł1VË thë wâÿ į Ł1VË bë¢âüšë įñ šömë pëöplëš ëÿëš "įm ñöt šüppöšëd tö bë hërë" büt įñ mÿ ëÿëš įm ñöt göįñg tö hâvë ÅNŸ rëgrëtš wįth thë šë¢öñd ¢hâñ¢ë GØD hâš gįvëñ më❗️ "(bâll šö hârd) įm šhö¢këd töö ĪM $Ū₽₽Ø$ËD TØ ßË ŁØ€KËD Ū₽ TØØ įf ÿöü ëš¢âpëd whât į'vë ëš¢âpëd ŸØŪ'D ßË 1N ₽ÅR1$ GËTT1NG MË$$ËD Ū₽ TØØ" -JÅŸż #iWmW -1OVE #šhįñëTHRŪthëŠHÅDË #1FįČÅNdö1TÿöüĆÅNtö #frömTHËčöñćrëtëWHØkñëwÅflöwërWØŪŁDgröw #įŪŠËmÿ1NFŁŪËNČËtö1NŠPÏRË
Newton was charged with felony counts of burglary, larceny and obstructing justice on Nov. 21, 2008. According to the police report, Newton threw the laptop, valued at $1,700, out of his dormitory window when officers came to investigate the theft.
Newton was suspended from the team while being held in jail. The charges ultimately were dropped, and Newton left Florida to enroll at Blinn College for a year before transferring to Auburn.
He went on to win the Heisman Trophy and lead Auburn to the national championship in 2010, then became the first pick of the draft by the Panthers.
Here is Newton's Instagram message (without his signature font):
• "I contemplated posting this and even reluctant about it but as I think about my life and the many things I'm thankful for, I want to be an open book so many people can [hear] my testimony and learn from flaws and mistakes I made on this day 11/21/ 2008. I was arrested for a stolen laptop and I'm sure you're asking yourself where is he going with this story but the moral of the story is this . . . on this date I thought my life and my career was over and the fact that I had shamed my family with the media coverage surrounding this situation I vowed to myself on this day (9 yrs ago) that 'I will be better from this situation.' What you must learn from this story is this; if you live your life listening to what other people are saying what you should do and not your own, shame on you! I can honestly say to you today that no one gave me a chance to succeed down bad in my situation and if I would have listened to those people that said I can't, who knows where I would be today. So I'm extremely thankful for God's mercy, grace and favor over my life, so if I can do it with my circumstances surely you can do it and be whatever you want to be with hard work and persistence - Love.
• "Side note: And people wonder why I play the game the way I do, act the way I act, dress the way I dress, and even live the way I live because in some people's eyes 'I'm not supposed to be here' but in my eyes I'm not going to have any regrets with the second chance God has given me.''
And then Newton referred to the lyrics of a Jay-Z song.
Newton posted this the day after he, through his foundation, fed more than 850 kids in the Charlotte area a Thanksgiving meal at a local Topgolf facility. He said during the event that his goal is to impact kids in a way he never was when growing up.
"That's what you have a foundation for,'' Newton said. "It's to make an impact. I play football on Sundays, but so much of me is bigger than football and more to it than just running touchdowns and throwing touchdowns.
"I want to be able to listen and hear, to give hope, to give joy any way as possible as long as I have energy.''