Cam Newton Issues Apology for Sexist Comment Made to Sports Reporter

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton made headlines this week when a remark he made following the question a female sports reporter posed that was deemed sexist. The reporter, Jourdan Rodrigue, of The Charlotte Observer asked Newton about his thoughts on the Carolina Panthers’ bodily routes. The notable QB responded with a smile and a slight chuckle before saying, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes like…It’s funny.”

Subsequently, the 28-year-old was at the receiving end of a bevy of backlash from the press and social media for his comments. It was even reported that Newton lost a sponsor with the yogurt company Dannon, for which Newton has appeared in commercials for the company’s Oikos Greek Yogurt in the last few years. On Thursday (Oct. 5), Dannon released the following statement:

“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 ok to belittle anyone based on gender. We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him.”

However, Newton’s representative Carlos Fleming (WME/IMG) countered that statement with one of their own via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport: “Dannon has not terminated the agreement, nor do they have grounds to.”

Dannon responded by saying, “The agreement has not been terminated. However, we will no longer work with him and are removing advertising with him in it.”

After the press conference, the reporter in question Rodrigue also had some words to say about the star athlete via Twitter: “I don’t think it’s ‘funny’ to be a female and talk about routes. I think it’s my job.”

“I spoke with him after and it was worse. I chose not to share, because I have an actual job to do today and one he will not keep me from,” she added in a second tweet.

Per ESPN Staff Writer David Newton, Rodrigue released an official statement and let the public know that Newton still hadn’t apologized for his belittling comments:

“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 for his comments.”

Newton has since issued his own apology in video format to account for the insensitive, sexist remarks made at that press conference toward Rodrigue. “After careful thought, I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women,” he revealed in the video. “And to be honest, that was not my intention. If you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you.”

“The fact that during this process I’ve already lost sponsors and countless fans, I realized that the joke is really on me. And I’ve learned a valuable lesson from this. To the young people who see this, I hope that you learn something from this as well. Don’t be like me, be better than me,” Netwon continued.

Watch the video of his full apology below.

Photo Credit: Screengrab x Cam Newton

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.