Cam Newton made the sports headlines across the United States yesterday, not for his play on the field, but because of a sexist comment he made towards a female reporter who was just asking him an ordinary question about football.
The Carolina Panthers quarterback was asked by Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer about wide receiver Devin Funchess' route running, which was given the following response which many have deemed to be a sexist comment.
“It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes,” Newton said, laughing to himself and then repeating, “It’s funny.”
Rodrigue tweeted out that she didn't find the comment funny at all because it's actually her job to ask those kinds of questions, which received a lot of support.
The Observer reporter then noted that she spoke to Newton after the press conference to get a further explanation on his comments that it was 'funny to hear a female talk about routes,' but the response which she was given was even worse than what was said earlier.
Scott Fowler has since posted a story revealing what was said between Newton and Rodrigue after the press conference.
Fowler reported: "After the news conference, Rodrigue wanted to find Newton and talk about what he said. She did catch up with him briefly. The conversation, according to Rodrigue, was not taped but went something like this:
"She asked the quarterback if he really didn’t think a female could understand routes.
"Newton said she wasn’t really seeing specific routes when watching the game, she was just seeing if somebody was open. She argued that he didn’t know what she saw nor how hard she had studied football, and that maybe the two of them needed to have a deeper conversation.
"Newton said that maybe he should have said it was funny to hear “reporters” talk about routes and that, if she actually did know about them, then she knew more than most reporters. Then he gestured toward the locker room, still filled with her colleagues."
The NFL released a statement condemning Newton for his actions, saying: "The comments are just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league. They do not reflect the thinking of the league."
The Panthers put out a statement as well, saying: "I have spoken with Jourdan and Cam and 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."
Rodrigue released an official statement via Ian Rapoport too, refuting the Panthers' claim Newton had "expressed regret". She said: "This afternoon, I did my job as an NFL beat writer and asked Cam Newton a question about one of his receivers. I was dismayed by his response, which not only belittled me but countless other women before me and beside me who work in similar jobs.
"I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologize."
As evident by the reported conversation after the initial sexist comment during the press conference, which can be seen above, Rodrigue is clearly right.