Yesterday, we talked about Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton and his sexist BS in the middle of his press conference on Wednesday. When a Charlotte Observer beat reporter named Jourdan Rodrigue asked Cam a completely normal question about football, he belittled her existence and her presence with just a handful of words: “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes … it’s funny.” Reportedly, the room was full of mostly male reporters, but none of them laughed or smiled, they just sat there in silence. Jourdan tweeted that she went to Cam after the presser to clear the air and his behavior was even worse.
Since then, all hell broke loose. Predictably, people began “investigating” the reporter, because how dare she. To be fair, Jourdan Rodrigue had some genuinely awful skeletons in her closet – several years before, when she was in college, she had tweeted some racist sh-t and used the word “n-gga.” This is her apology:
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) October 5, 2017
She issued her apology before Cam Newton issued his, which is pretty much Peak 2017. I’m not saying Jourdan Rodrigue is the most innocent person in the world – those old tweets are terrible and she absolutely should have apologized, and they absolutely reflect poorly on her character. But it does feel like it’s a case of “woman mildly identifies sexism in a public forum, and everyone examines HER history.”
As for Cam Newton, throughout the day Thursday, he was widely slammed. He lost one of his sponsors, Dannon Oikos, and that company issued a blistering statement about Cam’s sexism. Cam is also sponsored by Under Armour, who didn’t say anything. Gatorade, another sponsor, did issue a statement about how Cam’s behavior was unacceptable but they didn’t drop him. Late on Thursday, Cam issued his apology:
— Cameron Newton (@CameronNewton) October 6, 2017
He says, in part: “After careful thought, I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women. And to be honest, that was not my intention. If you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you…I’m a man who tries to be a positive role model to my community and tries to use my platform to inspire others. I take ownership to everything that comes with that. What I did was extremely unacceptable… The fact that during this process I’ve already lost sponsors and countless fans, I realized that the joke is really on me. And I’ve learned a valuable lesson from this. To the young people who see this, I hope that you learn something from this as well. Don’t be like me; be better than me.”
I still don’t really understand what was going on in his head when he made the original comment. It was so out-of-nowhere really. But I guess that’s the point – sexism comes out of nowhere, there’s no real rhyme or reason to it, no logic to it. I tend to believe that Cam only “understood” his comment was “extremely degrading” when he lost a sponsor and got called out so publicly.
Photos courtesy of Getty.