Cam Newton is one of the most heavily scrutinized-players in the NFL. When the Panthers were winning, that often included criticism for his exuberant touchdown celebrations, all the dabbing, and, of course, that Super Bowl press conference last February.
But Newton isn't defined by what he does at his day job -- or how fans or media want to portray him in that role. There's his foundation, which helped feed some 900 kids last Thanksgiving, and on Tuesday, he played the role of Santa Claus.
Taylor Deckard, 10, who has a life-threatening heart condition and is set to undergo surgery to address it, had just one wish for Christmas: Meet Cam Newton.
And the reigning NFL MVP made sure that wish came true.
Deckard, wearing Newton's Auburn jersey, first seems shocked to see the quarterback in his hospital room ... and then this happened:
Newton has a history of looking out for others less fortunate than he is.
Back in August, after Newton was spotted by eyewitnesses delivering food to the homeless, Panthers backup quarterback Joe Webb offered a glimpse into who Newton really is.
"It's like second nature for him," Webb said. "It's no surprise that he did it. A lot of people say, 'What are you doing when people aren't looking?' It speaks volumes that he's a great person."