Sports | October 6, 2017 8:32 am

Cam Newton Apologizes for ‘Degrading and Disrespectful’ Response to Female Journalist

The Carolina Panthers quarterback posted on social media.

Cam Newton
Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers emerges from the smoke before their game against the San Francisco 49ers. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Cam Newton, the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, took to social media Thursday night to apologize for what he called an “extremely degrading and disrespectful” response to a female reporter’s question the day before, reports ESPN

According to ESPN, Carolina coach Ron Rivera had already said that Newton “made a mistake” with his conduct. Newton made this post after Dannon Oikos Yogurt spokesperson said the company would no longer use Newton in its commercials and advertisements, and that they would begin pulling those with the 2015 NFL MVP in the immediately.

During a news conference on Wednesday, Charlotte Observer beat reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked Newton about wide receiver Devin Funchess “embracing the physicality of routes,” reports ESPN. Newton laughed at the question, and said, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes like … it’s funny.”

According to ESPN, Rodrigue confronted Newton after the news conference, but the quarterback did not apologize. Rodrigue tweeted that the situation “got worse” after the confrontation, and that Newton did not know her name, despite her working on the beat for about a year.

In the apology video, he does not address her by name, but instead, says that after “careful thought,” he understands that what he said was “degrading and disrespectful to women,” and that it was no his intention, reports ESPN. Newton then says “If you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you.”

Newton goes on to say that what he did was “extremely unacceptable” and that he “tries to be a positive role model to my community and tries to use my platform to inspire others,” reports ESPN. 

Newton also addressed the fact that he is the father of two daughters, and said that he tries to instill in them that “they can do and be anything they want to be,” according to ESPN. 

“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,” he said in the statement, reports ESPN. 

Newton wraps up the statement by saying “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 apologize and hope that you can find the kindness of your heart to forgive me,” ESPN reports.

According to a statement from the Panthers, Newton and Rodrigue spoke, and Newton “showed regret” for his statements, ESPN reports.

As for the rest of the team, they are focusing on their upcoming game versus Detroit. Outside linebacker and team captain Thomas Davis responded to questions about Newton’s comments by saying that what something Newton and reporters had to deal with.

“We weren’t there. We really don’t know what is happening. So we’re really focused in on Detroit. We can’t allow anything for us to be a distraction,” he said, according to ESPN.