Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has apologised after his reaction to a female reporter’s question, saying: “My word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women.”
Panthers beat writer Jourdan Rodrigue had asked Newton a question about one of his receivers, to which the quarterback replied: “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes, like, it’s funny.”
Newton then answered the question, but after reaction on social media the 28-year-old issued the following apology.
“If you are a person who took offence to what I said, I sincerely apologise to you,” said Newton. “I’m a man who tries to be a positive role model in my community, and tries to use my platform to inspire others, and I take ownership to everything that comes with that.
“What I did was extremely unacceptable. I’m a father to two beautiful daughters, and at their age I’m trying to instil in them that they can do and be anything that they want to be.
“The fact that during this whole process I’ve already lost sponsors and countless fans, I realise that the joke is really on me, and I’ve learned a valuable lesson from this.”
We’re disheartened by Cam Newton’s behavior, which we perceive as sexist. We shared our concerns with Cam & will no longer work with him.— Oikos Greek Yogurt (@Oikos) October 5, 2017
Newton continued: “And 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.
“To the reporters, to the journalists, to the moms, super moms, to the daughters, the sisters and the women all around the world, I sincerely apologise and hope that you can find the kindness in your heart to forgive me. Thank you.”
Cam Newton: “Don’t be like me. Be better than me.”— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 6, 2017
Newton’s apology received a positive reaction on social media, with many suggesting that the world of sport move on from the incident.
A sincere apology from Cam Newton. Now let's move forward.
Respectfully, and equally. https://t.co/C59W6ZMg7K— Alyssa Lang (@AlyssaLang) October 6, 2017
Good on Cam Newton. Took his time responding and collecting his thoughts and issued a sincere, heartfelt apology.— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 6, 2017
Cam Newton with a sincere apology, very well done on his part, and that’s done for me!!!— Mark Sturgis (@SturgisSports) October 6, 2017
Although not everybody reacted well to his choice of wording.
I never put much stock into any apology that includes wording "If you...took offense to what I said." #CamNewton— Chris Dufresne (@DufRankman) October 6, 2017
Meanwhile Rodrigue has also found herself in trouble, as tweets from 2012 and 2013 deemed racially insensitive were found on her Twitter account.
“I apologize for the offensive tweets from my Twitter account from 4/5 years ago,” Rodrigue tweeted.
“There is no excuse for these tweets and the sentiment behind them. I am deeply sorry and apologize.”