Cam Newton draws severe backlash for sexist comments

One day after drawing severe criticism for his sexist remarks to a female reporter, Cam Newton, quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, lost a sponsorship with Dannon Yogurt. Since then, Newton has issued an apology through Twitter.

As a female journalist, my thoughts on Newton’s comments are that they were unacceptable and quite degrading, but at the same time, I am not surprised at the comments. Especially when it comes to sports, women are almost always ridiculed for their knowledge about the sport.

The controversy began during a news conference on Wednesday, Oct 4. Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer asked Newton about the route-running of receiver Devin Funchess.

“I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well,” said Rodrigue.”Devin Funchess has seemed to really embrace the physicality of his routes and getting those extra yards.”

Newton responded with a smile and smirk and said, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes. It’s funny”

Rodrigue was quick to assert via Twitter that it wasn’t a laughing matter and that it was her job to ask such questions. The N.F.L. condemned Newton’s remarks as unacceptable.

On Wednesday, Dannon yogurt company ended its relationship with the quarterback.

“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.” The Dannon Tweet said. “It is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to fostering equality and inclusion in every workplace. It’s simply not okay to belittle anyone based on gender. We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him.”

On Thursday evening, Newton posted an apology video on Twitter and described his use of words as “degrading and disrespectful to women” and added that what he did was “extremely unacceptable”.

Newton concluded his video by saying: “The fact that, during this whole process, I’ve already lost sponsors and countless fans, I realize that the joke is really on me.”

The Newton controversy also resulted in several people investigating Rodrigue’s past. What they found were tweets from 2012 that referenced her father making racist jokes as well as using the n-word in 2013.

The uncovering of her past tweets have many people on Twitter asking if she will also be penalized for her remarks in the same way Newton has been penalized for his. Some have called for Rodrigue to be fired from The Charlotte Observer as she only apologized for her past tweets because she was “caught.”

The revelations resulted in Rodrigue issuing an apology on her own. She said that, “There is no excuse for these tweets, and the sentiment behind them. I am deeply sorry.”

Though both parties are in the wrong they both have a lot to learn from this controversy.