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Cam Newton Has Apologized After Fury Over His Sexist Comment

"It's funny to hear a female talk about routes," said Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Following the backlash, Newton apologized Thursday.

Last updated on October 6, 2017, at 8:55 a.m. ET

Posted on October 4, 2017, at 7:12 p.m. ET

Carolina Panthers quarterback and former NFL MVP Cam Newton faced condemnation from fans and the general public after comments he made at a press conference on Wednesday.

@joeovies / Twitter / Via Twitter: @joeovies

Answering a question from Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue regarding running routes in the game, Newtown said it was "funny to hear a female talk about routes."

"I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well," Rodrigue asked Newton. "[Panthers wide receiver] Devin Funchess has really embraced the physicality of his routes and getting those extra yards. Does that give you a little bit of an enjoyment?"

"It's funny to hear a female talk about routes like... It's funny," responded Newton, smirking. "But, uh, Fun [Funchess] is coming along."

Newton was quickly criticized by other reporters who were present during the press conference, as well as hundreds on Twitter who found his comments disrespectful "to her [Rodrigue] and to women."

Should have never trusted a man that dresses like he spends his free time thinking of dastardly plans to defeat The Batman

@_Zeets / Twitter / Via Twitter: @_Zeets

Today, Cam Newton really said that "It's funny to hear a female talk about routes.” And looked like he actually tho… https://t.co/5lsfTWNK7P

@seanjwagner / Twitter / Via Twitter: @seanjwagner

To say that in response to a legitimate question for @JourdanRodrigue is so backwards and disrespectful to her and to women

@jjones9 / Twitter / Via Twitter: @jjones9

Ladies - do not feel forced into defending our sports knowledge. This is on Cam Newton - NOT ON US. Unacceptable in 2017 to go back to this

@LauraOkmin / Twitter / Via Twitter: @LauraOkmin

Nah, I am kinda pissed... you mean Cam Newton gets to buy all his clothes at Talbots & Torrid but women can't discu… https://t.co/nQaZoh2D8E

@ImJustCeej / Twitter / Via Twitter: @ImJustCeej

Every female sports reporter has encountered a neanderthal like Cam Newton over the course of her career. They go low. We go high.

@aadelsonESPN / Twitter / Via Twitter: @aadelsonESPN


Rodrigue tweeted about the incident on Wednesday afternoon.

I don't think it's "funny" to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job.

@JourdanRodrigue / Twitter / Via Twitter: @JourdanRodrigue

@SmokeysHowl @jjones9 I spoke with him after and it was worse. I chose not to share, because I have an actual job t… https://t.co/HcckAKEIuL

@JourdanRodrigue / Twitter / Via Twitter: @JourdanRodrigue

The Association for Women in Sports Media released a statement later on Wednesday, saying it was "very discouraged" by Newton's remarks.

Thursday, Newton tweeted a video apology, stating what he did was "extremely unacceptable" and that he'd "learned a valuable lesson."

"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," Newton said.

Here's the full text of his statement:

"After careful thought, I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women, and, to be honest, that was not my intention. And if you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you.

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. And what I did was extremely unacceptable.

I’m a father to two beautiful daughters, and at their age I try to instill 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 realize that the joke was really on me. And I’ve learned a valuable lesson from this. 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.

And to the reporters, to the journalists, to the moms, the supermoms, to the daughters, the sisters, and the women all around the world, I sincerely apologize and hope you can find the kindness in your hearts to forgive me. Thank you.

You can watch the whole press conference here.

BuzzFeed News has sought further comment from Rodrigue.

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