Cam Newton came under fire on Wednesday for laughing at a female reporter’s question about wide receivers.
During a press conference, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer asked a question about wide receiver routes, to which Newton said, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes,” before answering the question.
Many around the NFL immediately criticised Newton’s comments and came to the defence of Rodrigue’s work.
However, after the incident, Rodrigue responded to a Twitter user and said that she tried to talk to Newton afterward and it got “worse.”
Later on, Scott Fowler of The Observer reported the details of Rodrigue’s conversation with Newton.
“She asked the quarterback if he really didn’t think a female could understand routes.
“Newton said she wasn’t really seeing specific routes when watching the game, she was just seeing if somebody was open. She argued that he didn’t know what she saw nor how hard she had studied football, and that maybe the two of them needed to have a deeper conversation.
“Newton said that maybe he should have said it was funny to hear ‘reporters’ talk about routes and that, if she actually did know about them, then she knew more than most reporters. Then he gestured toward the locker room, still filled with her colleagues.”
According to Fowler, Rodrigue asked Newton if he knew her (Rodrigue had reportedly introduced herself in 2016) and Newton said he did not.
Rodrigue commented to Fowler, saying she was “dismayed” by Newton’s comments and that he didn’t apologise when she approached him.
A spokesman for the Panthers later said: “I have spoken with Jourdan and Cam and I know they had a conversation where he expressed regret for using those words. We strive as a department to make the environment for media comfortable for everyone covering the team.”
On Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter also reported on the situation and said he was told that Newton did not apologise, but was regretful, similar to what the Panthers said.
“I was told by two different people this morning that he expressed his regret to her for the statement which was not conveyed and did not come out,” Schefter said. “And I am not defending him in anyway because what he did was 100% wrong. It was demeaning. It was sexist. It was all those things. But in the post-comment conversation, I was told he expressed regret. Not an apology, but expressed regret.”
The NFL also released a statement to The Observer, saying Newton’s comments were “just plain wrong” and did not reflect the values of the league.
I spoke with him after and it was worse. I chose not to share, because I have an actual job to do today and one he will not keep me from.
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) October 4, 2017
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