CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Cam Newton isn't apologizing for acting like a "sore loser" after the Super Bowl.
The league's MVP has been widely criticized for walking out of a three-minute news conference after a 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday in which he answered questions with mostly one- and two-word responses while sulking in his chair wearing a black Carolina Panthers hoodie over his head.
"Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser," Newton said Tuesday as players cleaned out their lockers at the team's downtown stadium.
Newton said he believes the situation is being overblown by the media, and added he doesn't plan to change how he reacts to losing just to appease his critics.
"If I offended anybody that's cool, but I know who I am and I'm not about to conform nor bend for anybody's expectations because yours or anybody's expectations would never exceed mine," Newton said.
The quarterback went on to say, "Who are you to say that your way is right? I have all of these people who are condemning and saying this, that and the third, but what makes your way right?"
At one point during Newton's nearly seven-minute interview, his teammates walked behind the media gathered three-deep around his locker and starting saying, "We love you, Cam," and even sang him a song lightning the mood.
Newton said his emotions were raw after the game and he simply didn't want to talk to the media.
"When you invest so much time and sacrifice so much and things don't go as planned, I think emotions take over," Newton said. "I think that is what happens."
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said while he prefers his fifth-year quarterback would have handled the situation a little better, he understands where he is coming from and what he felt at the time.
"That's who he is. He hates to lose, that's the bottom line," Rivera said. "That is what you love in him. I would much rather have a guy who hates to lose than a guy who accepts it. The guy who accepts it, you might as well just push him out of your locker room because you don't want him around.
"That is the beauty of a guy like that — he wants to win and his teammates know it. That is what it is about. We don't play this game for a participation trophy. We want to win."
Newton takes losing harder than most. In some past Carolina defeats, he's sat distraught at his locker still in his uniform for more than 30 minutes after the conclusion of the game. There are times it has taken him more than an hour before addressing the media.
Because this was the Super Bowl, Newton was forced into the interview room a little sooner than normal.
Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman refused to criticize his franchise quarterback for the way he acted after the game.
"I want players that hate to lose," Gettleman said. "I want players that I know when the game is over they are crawling into the locker room and they need help getting their gear off and they are going to need time getting into the shower. I want the buses to be late to the airport if we're traveling. We all handle defeat differently."