Carolina Quarterback Cam Newton Throws Insensitive Remark, Apologies for Verbal Fumble

Posted on: October 8, 2017, 05:00h. 

Last updated on: October 8, 2017, 10:20h.

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton opened his mouth and quickly inserted his foot, insulting a female reporter for a question she asked during a Wednesday press conference. He spent part of his day Thursday apologizing for his remark.

Cam Newton
After degrading a female reporter on Wednesday, Carolina quarterback Cam Newton went on Twitter and recorded an apology. (Image: Twitter)

Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer asked the NFL signal caller about the route-running of wide receiver Devin Funchess. Newton then mocked her inquiry.

“It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes,” Newton responded, grinning widely and emphasizing the word “routes.”

It wasn’t so funny to Rodrigue, who went on Twitter and posted her retort to the 28-year-old’s antics.

“I don’t think it’s “funny” to be a female and talk about routes,” she wrote. “I think it’s my job.”

The team did not fine or suspend Newton for the quip. He is expected to start on Sunday when they play in Detroit against the Lions. They are a 2 1/2-point underdog.

Fallout Swift

While the team declined to take action against its star player, Newton’s sponsors were quick to act. Dannon, the parent company that sponsored him since 2015 as a pitchman for Oikos yogurt, can’t nullify the deal, but they did remove him from all advertising and won’t work with him again.

“We are shocked and disheartened at the behavior and comments of Cam Newton toward Jourdan Rodrigue, which we perceive as sexist and disparaging to all women,” Michael Neuwirth, Dannon’s senior director of external communications said in a statement from Dannon. “It is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to fostering equality and inclusion in every workplace. It’s simply not O.K. to belittle anyone based on gender. We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him.”

Another endorsement deal he has appears to be safe for now. Gatorade condemned his remarks but did not sever their relationship. They said in a statement, “Cam’s comments were objectionable and disrespectful to all women and they do not reflect the values of our brand. Gatorade fully supports women who compete in, report on, coach for, or play any role in sport – on or off the field.”

Forbes estimated that he makes an estimated $11 million in endorsements, appearances and royalties and licensing. He has deals with Buick, Under Armour and Carolina Health Systems. 

Mea Culpa

Which might have been the motivating factor for his videotaped apology the following day. He went on his Twitter account and read a 1:48 statement on the incident.

“I’m a man who tries to be a positive role model in my community and tries to use my platform to inspire others,” he said. “I take ownership to everything that comes with that. And what I did was extremely unacceptable.”

While he said he was sorry to women, but he didn’t specifically single out Rodrigue, which some people criticized.

“The fact that during this whole process I’ve already lost sponsors and countless fans, I realize that the joke is really on me,” Newton said. “I’ve learned a valuable lesson from this.”