Cam Newton faces backlash over sexist comment
Cam Newton is the insanely popular Carolina Panthers quarterback. But now, he's lost an endorsement with Dannon over a comment he made at Wednesday's NFL press conference.
A sports reporter, Jourdan Rodrigue, asked:
"Cam, I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well. Devin Funchess has seemed to really embrace the physicality of his routes and getting those extra yards. Does that give you a little bit of enjoyment to see him [inaudible] people out there?"
Newton then had a big smile, and said:
"It's funny to hear a female talk about routes, like it's funny."
Jourdan, the reporter, tweeted this after the press conference:
"I don't think it's 'funny' to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job."
She later released this statement:
“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.”
The Association for Women in Sports Media had a statement ready Wednesday night:
"AWSM is very discouraged by Cam Newton's disrespectful remarks and actions directed to a female reporter during today's Carolina Panthers press conference. As a watchdog group, AWSM demands fair treatment and positive workplace environments for women working in sports media."
Indeed, it's a sexist cliche that women don't know anything about sports. In this controversy, it seems that Newton's comment is just strange and sexist, without much ambiguity. Jourdan is a sports reporter, so it only makes sense that she would understand all the intricacies of the game and its rules. Furthermore, how hasn't he been asked questions like this by female reporters before? It doesn't seem like something that should be surprising.
Cam Newton has garnered a lot of buzz, endorsements and popular support, but this comment is doing work to erode it, especially since he spoke with Jourdan after the conference and did not think he said anything strange at all.
ESPN reporter Katherine Terrell wrote:
"What frustrates me about Cam Newton's comments: He's not joking around with friends, he's being condescending to a reporter doing her job."
Indeed, it would make more sense if it was a joke in a non-professional setting. But during a press conference, in full sincerity, there's just no defending it. He means it, and it's strange. What do you think? Does this affect your views on Cam Newton? Should fans hold him accountable, or will this blow over?
After all, athletes are not known for being too sensitive or kind. Floyd Mayweather has committed multiple acts of domestic violence, and nobody seems to care. Ray Rice infamously beat his wife in an elevator tape, and the NFL did virtually nothing. Athletes taking advantage of women and demeaning them is nothing new. How can we change it?