Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton criticized for comment to female Charlotte Observer reporter

Posted at 10:46 AM, Oct 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-05 13:45:08-04

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will be answering some questions after a comment he made to a female reporter Wednesday.

During his weekly availability, Newton was asked about one of his receiver's route running. And that's when he said it was funny to hear a female talk about "routes."

"REPORTER: Cam I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well.  Devin Funchess has really seemed to embrace the physicality of the routes and getting those extra yards.  Does that give you a little bit of enjoyment to see him kind of truck-sticking people out there?

CAM:  It's funny to hear a female talk about routes.  it's like...funny.  But fun is coming along.  This is a big game for him because of him being from Detroit.  And I know he wants this win extremely bad.  Just to see his growth over the years.  He's a completely different player, and not just on the field.  I told him and Benjie today, those guys, preparation has been different this year.  and credit the coaching for it.  And just moving forward, we are going to expect those same things."

No reporters asked Newton to clarify his comment during the press conference.

The reporter in question was Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer. 

After the press conference, she posted this on social media: "I don't think it's "funny" to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job."

Rodrigue also said she asked Newton about the comment afterward and that his answer only made things worse and that she chose not to share the details of that conversation online.

An NFL spokesman says comments by Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to a female reporter were "just plain wrong" and "do not reflect the thinking of the league."

A team spokesman says Newton has "expressed regret" for his response to the reporter's question at a news conference Wednesday. 

The quarterback's comments have also cost him a sponsor.

Dannon, the maker of Oikos yogurt, is cutting ties Newton.

Company spokesperson Michael Neuwirth released a statement Thursday saying it was "shocked and disheartened" at the former league MVP's behavior and comments toward Jourdan Rodrigue.

The Dannon statement noted the company perceives Newton's comments as "sexist and disparaging to all women. ...  It's simply not ok to belittle anyone based on gender. We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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