On Sunday, Carolina Panthers quarterback, Cam Newton, was being lauded for his performance against the New England Patriots – a game in which Newton finished top passer – 316 passing yards – along with 44 rushing yards, one interception, three passing TDs and one rushing touchdown.
Four days on from that performance, Newton is back in the headlines, but not for the right reasons:
“It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes. It’s funny.”
That was the 28-year-old’s response to Jourdan Rodrigue, a reporter for the Charlotte Observer, when Rodrigue asked:
“I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well. Devin Funchess has seemed to really embrace the physicality of these routes and getting those extra yards. Does that give you a little bit of an enjoyment to see him kind of truck people?”
According to Rodrigue’s fellow Charlotte Observer reporter, Scott Fowler, after the news conference, Rodrigue went to seek some answers, and according to her, via Fowler’s column, the interaction failed to douse the flames of the sexist fire that was already well lit.
It basically went something along the lines of Newton, probably in a desperate attempt to diffuse the PR nightmare he could see building, that he meant to say that the fact Rodrigue was talking about routes, meant that she knew more than most of his colleagues back in the locker room.
But the end of the post-press conference chat is the best – and it’s Rodrigue’s mic drop moment – as the Charlotte Observer reporter asked the Carolina Panthers quarterback whether he knew her name – she had introduced herself to Newton on her first day with The Observer in October 2016 – and, of course, the 2015 NFL MVP did not.
Cam Newton raises is fist after TD to bring awareness to equality….? pic.twitter.com/iksJlW5pX5
— John Moran (@jjmo6371) October 5, 2017
The National Football League moved quick to condemn Newton:
“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.”
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy
However, it remains to be seen what further punishment Newton could face from the NFL and/or the Carolina Panthers.