At a press conference, Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton made a remark to a female reporter that many are calling offensive and sexist. Take a look for yourself:
Cam Newton is coming under fire for saying that “it’s funny when females ask about route”#CamNewton pic.twitter.com/zc3Vt23Qk3
— Atlanta Black Star (@ATLBlackStar) October 4, 2017
The reporter, named Jourdan Rodrigue, currently works for a local news agency called The Charlotte Observer. She was in the press conference room where reporters are allowed to ask players questions.
Her question to Newton was about routes being ran by his receivers, which is nothing out of the ordinary for NFL reporters. That is why Newton’s response was especially odd. As seen above, Newton responds by saying, “That’s funny to hear a female talk about routes.”
Apparently, Rodrigue tried to talk to Newton privately about his comments, because she was confused at first. However, Newton never gave her a full answer to her concerns.
Hours following the press conference, Rodrigue tweeted:
I don’t think it’s “funny” to be a female and talk about routes. I think it’s my job.
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) October 4, 2017
Carolina Panthers director of communications Steven Drummond reported that he spoke with Newton and said, “I know they had a conversation where he expressed regret for using those words. We strive as a department to make the environment for media comfortable for everyone covering the team.”
That being said, Rodrigue argues that Newton did not apologize. Many, like Rodrigue, have talked about the press conference on social media:
Ladies – do not feel forced into defending our sports knowledge. This is on Cam Newton – NOT ON US. Unacceptable in 2017 to go back to this
— Laura Okmin (@LauraOkmin) October 4, 2017
Cam Newton should sign with Snuggle Fabric Softener, bc that’s how soft we’ve gotten. Dumb comment-yes. Deserving this backlash-NO #Panthers
— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) October 5, 2017
Cam Newton just doesnt get it ill leave it at that
— Booger (@ESPNBooger) October 5, 2017
Also, Oikos Greek Yogurt, one of his major sponsors, dropped him following his remarks, which they deemed as sexist.
Today the company tweeted:
We’re disheartened by Cam Newton’s behavior, which we perceive as sexist. We shared our concerns with Cam & will no longer work with him.
— Oikos Greek Yogurt (@Oikos) October 5, 2017
Also, the company released a statement saying, “We are shocked and disheartened at the behavior and comments of Cam Newton towards Jourdan Rodrigue, which we perceive as sexist and disparaging to all women. It is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to fostering equality and inclusion in every workplace. It’s simply not okay to belittle anyone based on gender.”
The Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) has said they strongly oppose Newton’s comments and demand fair treatment for women in the workplace. Also, Pro Football Writers of America have said that Newton “crossed the line.”
It seems as if some people think Newton’s comments were offensive and uncalled for, while some think people are overreacting about the situation. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!
— Peter Amirata