Cam Newton, the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, was caught on camera making a sexist remark after a woman reporter asked him a question. Newton, who is the father of two young girls, apparently thought it was funny that a woman could talk about football and use football terminology. Of course, he quickly learned his lesson as the sexist comment came back to bite him.
At a news conference last Wednesday, reporter Jourdan Rodrigue from The Charlotte Observer asked Newton a question about the route running of receiver Devin Funchess. Newton’s smile and pause before answering the question said everything about him in that moment. He then said, “It’s funny to hear a woman talk about routes.”
Scott Fowler, a fellow reporter of Rodrigue’s at The Charlotte Observer, described the room by saying, “I was in that room, which held about 30 media members, and there was dead silence when Newton proclaimed ‘It’s funny’ – because actually it wasn’t funny at all. To state the obvious, this is 2017 and not 1967. All Rodrigue wanted to do on Wednesday was her job, and instead she found herself in the middle of a social media firestorm.”
Dannon, one of Newton’s sponsors, also released a statement in which they condemned Newton’s words. They said, “We are shocked and disheartened at the behavior and comments of Cam Newton toward 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 O.K. to belittle anyone based on gender. We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him.”
Newton has released an apology video in which he explains that he regrets his choice of words and that his comments were “degrading and disrespectful to women.” He added, “I take ownership to everything that comes with that. What I did was extremely unacceptable. The fact that during this whole process I’ve already lost sponsors and countless fans, I realize that the joke is really on me. I’ve learned a valuable lesson from this.”
It is concerning to note that although he has apologized for his words and actions, he doesn’t seem to really understand just how degrading his comments were to women. He also seems to be more upset that his comment lost him sponsors and fans and not that they were inappropriate.
Newton, however, does note that he is ashamed of the way he acted especially because he is the father of two young girls. He said, “I hope you learn something from this as well. Don’t be like me. Be better than me.”
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