Unlike his Superman touchdown celebration, his red zone presence, and his 6’5″ frame, it’s become clear that we cannot count on Cam Newton
The Carolina Panthers quarterback received heavy criticism on social media and by the NFL Wednesday after he told a female reporter that it was “funny” to hear her ask a question about route-running.
— Pat Tomasulo (@pattomasulo) October 5, 2017
Reporter Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer asked Newton about the toughness of Detroit native wide receiver Devin Funchess, to which the former league MVP smiled and said, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes. It’s funny.”
And the internet reacted.
Ladies – do not feel forced into defending our sports knowledge. This is on Cam Newton – NOT ON US. Unacceptable in 2017 to go back to this
— Laura Okmin (@LauraOkmin) October 4, 2017
It’s bad enough that we’ve just learned to accept how Cam chooses to express himself through his wardrobe, but don’t tell me sexist retorts toward the media is becoming the norm, too.
What’s worse is that statements like these are consistent with the left-field head scratching takes that Cam often has.
Back in 2016 in an interview with GQ, Cam said that we as a nation are beyond racism, and further questioning (confusingly) how one-eighth of an inch of skin can cause so much discord. He’s also refused to back the Black Lives Matter movement.
But I guess no one thought Cam could be this clueless.
Finding a reporter’s knowledge on a subject that’s their expertise ‘funny’ implies that Cam didn’t think Rodrigue got to where she did on merit. Or even worse, that her role is different from every other reporter.
How is a national sports reporter asking a former MVP about his receiver’s routes funny?
Steven Drummond, who is the spokesman for the Panthers, said in a statement to The Associated Press that Newton had a conversation with Rodrigue after the news conference ended and said the Panthers “strive as a department to make the environment for media comfortable for everyone covering the team.”
Rodrigue fired back with a statement of her own, saying that she was “dismayed” by Newton’s comments, which she said “not only belittled me, but countless other women before me and beside me who work in similar jobs.”
Rodrigue added that she had sought Newton out after the press conference, but “he did not apologize for his comments.”
People may come to Cam’s defense stating that it’s not often to hear a woman speak on route running and that he may have been genuinely taken aback, but that does not excuse his lack of situational awareness to recognize that it’s a journalist asking the question, not his aunt twice removed.
Cam Newton is clueless and deserves the lesson the internet will undoubtedly teach him.
Until then we can only hope no one puts a mic in front of him with any tough questions.