Cam Newton was criticized for laughing at a female reporter and making a sexist comment in response to her question at a press conference on Wednesday, October 4.
Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked the Carolina Panthers quarterback, 28, about the route-running of his teammate Devin Funchess. As Rodrigue said the word “routes,” Newton smirked and briefly chuckled. Once she completed the question, he responded, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes. Like, it’s funny.”
The athlete went on to answer the question after uttering his controversial remark, which drew rebuke from many social media users and the reporter herself. “I don’t think it’s ‘funny’ to be a female and talk about routes. I think it’s my job,” Rodrigue tweeted later on Wednesday.
Panthers director of communications Steven Drummond said in a statement to ESPN that the NFL pro and the reporter “had a conversation” after the conference “where he expressed regret for using those words.” However, Rodrigue claimed in a statement of her own that Newton did not apologize.
“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,” she said, via ESPN. “I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologize for his comments.”
The NFL also addressed the 2015 MVP’s remarks: “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.”
Us Weekly has reached out to Newton’s rep for comment.
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