Cam Newton Apologizes in Video for Sexist Comments

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton came under fire for comments he made Wednesday in response to Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue's question about one of his teammate's route training. “It's funny to hear a female talk about routes. It's funny," Newton said before proceeding to answer the question. NBC Boston's Raul Martinez shares his thoughts on Newton's "sexist" comments.

(Published Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017)

Cam Newton apologized in a Twitter video post Thursday night for comments made to a female reporter that some, including one of the quarterback's sponsors, perceived as sexist.

"After careful thought, I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women," the Carolina Panthers quarterback said at the start of the nearly two-minute video. "To be honest, that was not my intentions. And if you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you."


Dannon, the maker of Oikos yogurt, cut ties with its spokesman Newton following his comments, which the company called "sexist and disparaging."

Company spokesperson Michael Neuwirth released a statement Thursday saying it was "shocked and disheartened" at the former league MVP's behavior and comments toward Jourdan Rodrigue, a Charlotte Observer reporter.

When Rodrigue asked Newton about wide receiver Devin Funchess' route-running Wednesday, Newton laughed and said, "It's funny to hear a female talk about routes. It's funny."

The Dannon statement noted the company perceives Newton's comments as "sexist and disparaging to all women. ... 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."

Top Sports Photos: Russia Banned From 2018 Winter Games First torch bearer, South Korean figure skater You Young, holds the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics torch during a torch relay on Nov. 1, 2017, in Incheon, South Korea. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Carolina spokesman Steven Drummond said in a statement to The Associated Press that Newton had a conversation with Rodrigue after the news conference ended and expressed regret for his remarks.

Rodrigue released a statement through The Charlotte Observer via email saying that Newton did not apologize when they spoke after the news conference.

She said she "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."

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Wednesday night in a statement that Newton's comments "are just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league. They do not reflect the thinking of the league."

But it doesn't appear there will be any punishment handed out to Newton.

"I think there are conversations going on at the club level with the appropriate people, with the Panthers," NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said in a conference call Thursday. "I don't want to anticipate the league stepping in there."

Mike Persinger, the executive sports editor of The Charlotte Observer, said Wednesday evening that Newton's comments were "unfortunate and out of line."

"The question Jourdan asked during the news conference was a good one, like countless other questions about football strategy and nuance she has asked in the course of doing her job," Persinger said.

Rodrigue joined The Charlotte Observer as a Panthers beat reporter last year.

She said on on Twitter: "I don't think it's 'funny' to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job."