Update: Newton apologized for his remarks via Twitter. You can watch the video here.
Because it's 2017, every public figure must be ready for internet detectives to find dirt on them, especially if said public figure accuses someone else of wrongdoing.
To recap, at a Wednesday news conference Rodrigue asked Newton a question about a receiver, and Newton laughed and said "It's funny to hear a female talk about routes."
Three tweets referencing racism or a racial slur surfaced Thursday from 2012 and 2013. Here's what they said:
From Dec. 21, 2012 "My dad is being super racist as we pass through Navajo land..."
From Aug. 10, 2013 "@Kelsee_B he's the best. Racist jokes the whole drive home."
From May 11, 2013 "@yaboybillnye: THE EARTH MOVES AT 450+ MPH THATS 10 TIMES TRILLER THAN NASCAR DALE EARNHARTS A B---H N---A @cetetreault"
The first tweet is in reference to her father having a habit of making racist comments, which Rodrigue's critics say she is condoning. The subject of the second tweet is unclear, although some have interpreted it as also relating to her father.
The third tweet appears to be a manual retweet quoting a Bill Nye parody account, and Rodrigue is taking heat for posting, or re-posting, the n-word.
Newton lost a sponsorship with the yogurt company Dannon over his comments toward Rodrigue. Now, a segment of fans have come to Newton's defense, saying since he lost his sponsorship because of his comments, then Rodrigue should lose her job for racist tweets.
What started as an (admittedly poor) attempt at a joke by Newton has spiraled into a controversy pitting perceived sexism versus perceived racism.
Rodrigue issued a simple apology Thursday morning on Twitter:
"I apologize for the offensive tweets from my Twitter account 4/5 years ago. There is no excuse for these tweets and the sentiment behind them. I am deeply sorry and apologize."
Newton does not, at first
Newton did not initiallly apologize for his comments. In fact, he reportedly doubled down on them in a follow-up conversation with Rodrigue after the news conference, according to the Charlotte Observer.
"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. Then he gestured toward the locker room, still filled with her colleagues," the report said.
Newton apologized in a Twitter video posted Thursday evening.
As is often the case in internet conflicts, there are no winners in this situation.
This article was updated to include Newton's apology.