Ex-Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak apologized to Cam Newton for saying Newton shouldn’t listen to “rap music” during practice. Zolak, who played for New England from 1992-1998, said he’s solely to blame for the racially insensitive comment.
Newton hasn’t publicly spoken about the remarks, however, the media called Zolak out for the comment. On his first day back on the air Sunday, he issued a full mea culpa ahead of the Patriots 22-20 win over the Giants.
“That’s something I know that’s drawn attention for being racially insensitive,” Zolak said Sunday. “I’m sorry for that comment, I didn’t need to make that comment. I should not even ever bring any sort of music into play because I have no clue what’s going on in a player’s head. It’s been a rough last couple of days here, and I wanted to do this on air. It’s the first time I’ve been on air since Thursday.”
Zolak said Thursday on 98.5 The Sports Hub that Cam Newton should ignore the music the team pipes in through the PA system during practice.
“I’d turn off the rap music, first of all, because I think it’s distracting for Cam here. Because in between every throw, he’s dancing,” Zolak said. “He can’t help himself, to where Mac [Jones] looks like he came to work again. Like, he’s here to work. And everything’s attention to detail. It’s nothing different.”
Zolak said he spoke with Cam Newton during the team’s travel day Saturday. He didn’t divulge any details on the conversation but said that New England’s starting quarterback was “nothing but class.”
“Great guy,” Zolak said of Newton. “He handled it perfect. I mean, that’s between me and him.”
Cam Newton Expected to Start for Patriots
Football analysts say the Patriots are expected to stick with Cam Newton during the team’s season opener against the Dolphins on September 12.
Newton has started every pre-season game this year over Mac Jones. The Patriots drafted the former Alabama star 15th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. But there has been little discussion over the potential brewing quarterback contest.
Coach Bill Belichick wouldn’t say one way or the other who will hold the starting job after Sunday’s win.
“We still have a lot of decisions to make,” Belichick told reporters when asked about the starting job.
Belichick was less cagey earlier this month.
“Well, I think the fact Cam started last year and he’s here, somebody is going to have to play better than him,” Belichick said, via WEEI.com. “We’re not going to take a job and say, ‘OK, here, this is gift-wrapped for somebody.'”
Cam Newton has been effusive in his praise for the rookie Jones this offseason.
“Every young quarterback goes through it,” Newton said of Jones earlier this month. “The excitement. The anticipation. He wants to be so perfect. And I see his preparation is always pristine. That’s what I admire about him, at such a young age, he knows how to prepare.”
Jones says he’s fine with whatever decision the team makes. He’s just happy that he can contribute, he said.
“I’m here to play any role I can play, help in any way I can,” Jones told reporters Sunday. “I’m going to be ready whenever my time comes.”