Sorry, Guys, Football Isn't Rocket Science

Reaction to Cam Newton's sexist remark ranging from sarcastically scathing to forgiving
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2017 11:46 AM CDT
From Sarcasm to Forgiveness, Reax to QB's Sexist Remark
In this Oct. 1, 2017, file photo, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton speaks to the media following an NFL game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Cam Newton has apologized for his sexist remarks to female reporter Jourdan Rodrigue, and to women in general, but the hype hasn't yet died down. "I'm a man who tries to be a positive role model in my community and tries to use my platform to inspire others," Newton said in a video posted on Twitter Thursday. He added that he's been thinking of his two young daughters and how he's trying to raise them knowing "they can do and be anything that they want to be," and that he "takes ownership" for his "extremely unacceptable" remarks. "Don't be like me," he tells young people listening. "Be better than me." Meanwhile, ex-LA Clipper Glen Davis tells TMZ he thinks Newton's apology was "sincere" and that he "just made a mistake," adding, "He's probably got woman problems or something." More takes making the rounds:

  • One of the first people to stick up for Rodrigue: Scott Fowler, a fellow sportswriter at the Charlotte Observer. Fowler calls Newton's remarks "inexcusable" and "ill-informed," documenting Rodrigue's sports journalism background—including a degree from Arizona State's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism—and instincts on the sidelines. "I've been covering the Panthers for the past 23 seasons, and Rodrigue knows more about the subtle intricacies of football than I do," he writes. "In short, Jourdan Rodrigue knew exactly what she was talking about Wednesday. Cam Newton, on the other hand, had no idea."
  • Sally Jenkins picks up on that theme for a sarcasm-infused Washington Post op-ed in which she suggests a "gender-culture exchange" with the quarterback. "In the name of gender diplomacy, I will help Cam Newton with certain feminine concepts if he will help me understand how to use the twist-top on a bottle of beer, and why some men act like football strategy is more complicated than a space flight guidance system," she writes. She doesn't try so hard to mask her anger in the next barb: "We women who cover the NFL have spent years hiding our impatience dealing with average quarterbacks with below-average verbal skills."
  • Over at the New York Daily News, Kristie Ackert says Newton "should have known better" than to make his "infuriating" comment, but adding it can be a valuablelesson for everyone. She accepts his apology and says we can all "learn to be better. We can listen to someone else's point of view, admit when we are wrong, apologize, and move on. We could all use to do that a little more often."
  • Christine Brennan hopes "there's good to come out" of all of this. Writing in USA Today, Brennan notes the "dead silence" in the Panthers' interview room (mostly filled with male reporters) after Newton's comment to Rodrigue, followed by all of the "noise" on social media later. "The reaction was as heartening as it was eye-opening," she writes, also giving props to the NFL and two of the companies Newton represents (including Dannon, which dumped him) for their quick response in dressing him down.
(Meanwhile, Rodrigue had some apologizing of her own to do.)

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