October 5, 2017
Posted with permission from AFP
Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers, seen during the game against the New England Patriots, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, on September 30, 2017 GETTY/AFP/File / Maddie Meyer
Quarterback Cam Newton apologized Thursday for sexist comments to a woman reporter, saying they were “extremely degrading and disrespectful” and that he realized that the “joke is on me”.
The Carolina Panthers star faced mounting criticism after his dismissive response to a question from Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue during a news conference on Wednesday.
In a video the NFL star posted on his Twitter account on Thursday night, Newton said he regretted saying what he did.
“I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women. And to be honest that was not my intentions. If you are a person who took offense to what I said then I sincerely apologize to you,” Newton said.
“During this process I lost sponsors and countless fans. I realize the joke is on me.
“Don’t be like me,” he urged young fans. “Be better than me.”
Newton landed in hot water after remarking that it was “funny to hear a female” ask a question about passing routes.
The Panthers star smirked after Rodrigue asked about receiver Devin Funchess’s ability to run physically demanding routes.
Rodrigue criticized Newton’s reply in several posts on social media.
“I don’t think it’s ‘funny’ to be a female and talk about routes. I think it’s my job,” Rodrigue wrote on Twitter.
Rodrigue said that she later spoke with Newton in private after the press conference and was not satisfied with his response.
Rodrigue, 25, had issued an apology of her own earlier on Thursday after the affair brought to light tweets with racist overtones that she made several years ago.
“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,” Rodrigue wrote.
On Thursday, Newton was dropped as a pitchman for Dannon yogurt.
Dannon signed Newton to endorse the brand in 2015, the same year he led the Panthers into Super Bowl 50 where they lost to Denver.
“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,” said Michael Neuwirth, Dannon’s senior director of external communications.
Newton also has endorsement deals with Under Armour, Gatorade and Beats by Dre.
PepsiCo, which owns Gatorade, called Newtons remarks “objectionable and disrespectful to all women” but there was no indication they would part ways with the player.