Cam Newton says it takes a different kind of man to raise another man’s child, and he would know because he’s one of them.
In a conversation for his new interview series Sip and Smoke, which takes place in his Atlanta-based cigar lounge Fellaship, Newton sought out advice from Steve Harvey about navigating such responsibilities. The NFL star has played unofficial stepfather to ex-girlfriend Kia Proctor‘s daughter Shakira, as well as current girlfriend La Reina Shaw‘s eldest son, Jaden. As for Harvey, he took on stepfather duties with Marjorie Harvey’s three kids from a previous relationship when they married, including son Jason, and daughters Morgan and Lori.
“Raising a stepdaughter, raising a stepson, raising a child that didn’t biologically come from you, it takes a hell of man,” Newton said. “So for me, how does that change, how is the growth? Because there is some disconnect. There is some type of mental tampering that you have to disassociate [from] because as a man who has such an ego, you can feel so great and if this child says, ‘You not my daddy,’ it can make you feel this small. So how do you handle it, taking on that type of responsibility?”
Harvey responded by saying that while caring for and loving someone else’s child can be challenging, it’s rewarding as well as something to be proud of.
“I’ve been through it because when I married Marjorie, Marjorie had three children. The challenge in that man, one time, one of them said, ‘You ain’t my daddy.’ And then my question was, ‘Ok, but where he at doe?’ Cause I get tight too,” he admitted. “Don’t step to me disrespectful because I’m doing the job. And men who take on another man’s responsibility, that should be a day for them. Cats like me and you who step up and play fathers when cats done walked away from their responsibility, that’s a different kind of man.”
Newton agreed, saying that while the child or children may not be blood, that doesn’t change the immense love for them.
“It does take a hell of a man to be able to look a person in their eye and have the same love and compassion,” Newton said. “If it came down to a life or death situation, you won’t even blink.”
“You would die for them,” Harvey replied, noting his protectiveness over all of his children, biological or not. “That’s what cats out here be running their mouth, you don’t understand. I will die for them. Now whatever you saying, and that yackety yack you talking, you ain’t willing to die for what you saying but I’m willing to die over what you said. That’s a different dude here we talking to now. See we’re talking about a grown a– man, now.”
Both men have a number of their own kids. Harvey has four children from his first two marriages. Newton has five biological children.