Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton apologized Thursday night after making a dismissive comment to a female sports reporter on Wednesday.
What is he apologizing for?
Newton was taking questions Wednesday from reporters, and when the Charlotte Observer’s Carolina Panthers reporter, Jourdan Rodrigue, asked him about his receivers and their routes, things went south.
Rodrigue said, "I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well. [Wide receiver] Devin Bunches seemed to really embrace the physicality of his routes, and making, getting those extra yards — does that give you a little bit of enjoyment to see him truck stick people out there?"
Newton in the video can be seen smirking and chuckling as Rodrigue asks her question.
He responded, "It’s funny to see a female talk about routes, like, it’s funny."
The room was dead silent after Newton made his comments.
Rodrigue later tweeted, "I don't think it's 'funny' to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job."
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
Rodrigue in a statement to ESPN said:
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.
What sponsorship did Newton lose as a result of his comments?
Newton lost a sponsorship with yogurt company Dannon as a result of his comments.
"We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him," Dannon told USA Today in a statement on Thursday.
This is the company's full statement:
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.
Newton's apology came Thursday night via Twitter.
The quarterback acknowledged his actions as "extremely unacceptable" and apologized profusely during a 1-minute, 48-second video.
"The fact that, during this whole process, I've already lost sponsors and countless fans — I realize that the joke is really on me," he said. "I've learned a valuable lesson from this."
"I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women," he added. "To be honest, that was not my intentions. If you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you."
Toward the end of Newton's video, he said, "To the young people who see this, I hope that you learn something from this as well: Don't be like me. Be better than me."
— Cameron Newton (@CameronNewton) October 6, 2017