Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has asked quarterback Cam Newton to avoid getting tattoos or piercings.

During an appearance on PBS' Charlie Rose Show, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson revealed a conversation he had with quarterback Cam Newton.  During a pre-draft meeting, Richardson had an interesting talk with Cam Newton.

"I said, Do you have any tattoos?"  Richardson told Rose.  "He said, 'No, sir.  I don't have any.'  I said, 'Do you have any piercings?'  He said, 'No, sir.  I don't have any.'  I said, 'We want to keep it that way.'  "We want to keep no tattoos, no piercings, and I think you've got a very nice haircut."

A lot of people are making more out of this story than there is to be made.  Some say there are racial overtones and that Richardson is overstepping his boundaries.  Could you make the argument that a player like Cam Newton is more appealing looking the way he does instead of looking like Dennis Rodman?  Can you see why an owner would want to keep it that way? 

This isn't a case of the white owner trying to hold the black player down.  It's a story about an owner who is aiming to keep the face of his franchise as appealing to the masses as possible.  Richardson isn't suggesting that Cam Newton should do something that's ridiculous either.  When you sign the checks, you can "suggest" ways for your players to appear that's within reason.