Oh boy. We can’t go a couple of days now without hearing about something controversial that an NFL player has either said or done. It’s unfortunate that most headlines these days are reprimanding players rather than commentating on their football plays.
Cam Newton, the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, was recently interviewed by a reporter who asked him about routes he made during a game. Newton guffawed at the question and proceeded to make sexist comments towards the reporter, saying “it’s funny to hear a female talking about routes”.
I don't think it's "funny" to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job.
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) October 4, 2017
It seems the player has received more backlash from the incident than just the owners saying that his comments don’t reflect that of the organization. Oikos, the Greek yogurt brand under the Dannon umbrella, tweeted out that they would no longer be working with the QB.
We’re disheartened by Cam Newton’s behavior, which we perceive as sexist. We shared our concerns with Cam & will no longer work with him.
— Oikos Greek Yogurt (@Oikos) October 5, 2017
Dannon released another statement as well, saying:
“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.”
Despite Dannon’s statement, Newton’s representative, Carlos Fleming of WME/IMG, said, “Dannon has not terminated the agreement, nor do they have grounds to,” according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Cam Newton should sign with Snuggle Fabric Softener, bc that's how soft we've gotten. Dumb comment-yes. Deserving this backlash-NO #Panthers
— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) October 5, 2017
While some may think that this decision is rash, the situation could have been handled much better on Newton’s end. Jourdan Rodrigue, the reporter in this scenario, said that she went to find him after the incident and that he did not receive her well.
“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.”
A quick apology on Cam’s part would have nipped this in the bud. But for whatever reason, he has not and probably will not apologize for his comments, so the backlash seems appropriate for someone who does not feel remorse for belittling a woman doing her job.