148th Kentucky Derby

Cam Newton during the 148th Kentucky Derby

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Rashee Rice was charged with aggravated assault and multiple counts of collision involving serious bodily injury and injuries for a hit-and-run incident on March 30. Kadarius Toney also drew attention for a profanity-filled Instagram live where he accused the Chiefs of lying about his injuries, though he later clarified it was directed at fans of his former team, the New York Giants.

In regard to this, former NFL quarterback Cam Newton advised troubled athletes like Rice, Kadarius Toney and Ja Morant, who showed a firearm in an IG live while in a nightclub, to have someone around to keep them in check when they’re not thinking straight and to help them maintain a good public image.

Newton referred to a clip of former Dallas Mavericks player Michael Finley intervening in Luka Doncic’s beer celebration, taking the drink out of his hand after the team won the Western Conference Finals, as several reporters and cameras were present in the Dallas locker room. Newton said via “4thand1show”:

“Oh I love it. Ja Morant, Kadarius Toney, Rashee Rice, that’s how you protect the bag. You are who you are. He [Finley] has obviously identified it, and said, ‘Oh it’s a lot going on right now, I got you bro.’ Subtle! this ain’t for you to be like, ‘Hell nah bro, we just won the Eastern [Western] Conference.’ Everything’s there for everybody to see, and that’s an OG move.

“So for all your people who have access to players or as I consider bags, the bag, like bro this is doing your job, this is f*cking image control. This is why you need other people to be thinking while you’re not thinking about that, like ‘aye we’re hot right now, I got you bro’.”

Rashee Rice breaks his silence after hit-and-run incident

Rashee Rice during Kansas City Chiefs OTA Offseason Workouts

Rashee Rice during Kansas City Chiefs OTA Offseason Workouts
While Rashee Rice’s assault charge was dropped, he still faces felony charges and a separate $11 million lawsuit. At a youth camp in Kansas City, Rice broke his silence about the matter, saying (via ESPN):

“I’ve learned so much from that. All I can do is mature and continue to grow from that. This is a step in a better direction for me. Accidents and stuff like that happen, but all you can do is move forward and walk around being the same person, try to be positive so that everybody can feel your love and your great energy.”

Rice was a standout wide receiver for his team last season, leading all Kansas City Chiefs receivers in receptions (79), yards (938) and touchdowns (seven). He is viewed as an athlete who could have a breakout season in 2024, although he could miss part of the season with a potential suspension from the NFL.

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