Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton laughs and made light of female reporter for her question.
To one of the question which female reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked Newton during Wednesday’s news conference about wide receiver David Funchess embracing the physicality of routes and if Newton enjoyed it.
To this Newton found something funny and responded, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes like — it’s funny.”
However, in a statement Rodrigue confirmed that Newton didn’t apologize.
Steven Drummond, the directors of communications of Panthers said in a statement that he has a word with Newton and Rodrigue 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.”
“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,” Rodrigue said. “I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologize for his comments.”
According to the Observer, Rodrigue introduced herself to Newton last October on her first day with the newspaper, later asked him if he knew her name, Newton said he did not.
As reported by Charlotte Observer, Rodrigue asked Newton afterward whether he thought a woman couldn’t understand receiver routes.
The Observer also reported that, “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,” according to the Observer. “Then he gestured toward the locker room, still filled with her colleagues.”
To this incident, Mike Persinger, the executive sports editor of the Observer said that Newton’s comments were unforgettable and out of line.
Persinger added, “The question Jourdan asked during the news conference was a good one, like countless other questions about football strategy and nuance she has asked in the course of doing her job.”
In a statement the Association for Women in Sports Media said, “is very discouraged by Cam Newton’s disrespectful remarks and actions directed to a female reporter during today’s Carolina Panthers media conference. As a watchdog group, AWSM demands fair treatment and positive workplace environments for women working in sports media.”
Apart from this incident, Newton already made headlines once earlier in his career for his interaction with the media after Panther’s loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50, when he abort his session with the reporters.