Cam Newton listens to Jourdan Rodrique's question during Wednesday's press conference. Photo from Charlotte Observer

By Jeff Rosen | APSE President

Today’s sexist comment by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton toward a working female journalist is entirely unacceptable to APSE.

During a Panthers news conference, Charlotte Observer Panthers beat writer Jourdan Rodrigue asked Newton how he felt about receiver Devin Funchess being more physical when running his routes.

Newton’s response, chuckling: “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes.”

We stand with the Association for Women in Sports Media as an organization whose mission includes safeguarding fair and positive working conditions for all sports journalists. This is not representative of a fair or positive working environment.

“This afternoon, I did my job as an NFL beat writer and asked Cam Newton a question about one of his receivers,” Rodrigue said in a statement. “I was dismayed by his response, which not only belittled me but countless other women before me and beside me who work in similar jobs.
“I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologize for his comments.”

Michael Persinger, sports editor of the Charlotte Observer, had this to say in response to Mr. Newton’s comment:

“The question Jourdan asked during the news conference was a good one, like countless other questions about football strategy and nuance she has asked in the course of doing her job. Cam Newton’s response was unfortunate and out of line.
“Jourdan’s work speaks for itself.”

APSE agrees wholeheartedly that Mr. Newton’s response was out of line.
And we ask for a formal apology to  Jourdan Rodrigue from Mr. Newton and the Carolina Panthers organization.