Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has “expressed regret” for his response to a female reporter’s question at a news conference on Wednesday.
When reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked Newton about Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess’ route running, the NFL star smiled and replied, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes. It’s funny.”
He then proceeded to answer Rodrigue’s question.
Team spokesman Steven Drummond said in a statement to the Associated Press that Newton spoke with Rodrigue after the conference and expressed regret for his remarks.
According to Rodrigue, the 28-year-old did no such thing.
“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,” she shared in her paper, the Charlotte Observer. “I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologize for his comments.”
Drummond said the Panthers “strive as a department to make the environment for media comfortable for everyone covering the team,” according to TheHollywoodReporter.
Still, executive sports editor of the Observer and Rodrigue’s colleague, Mike Persinger, called Newton’s remarks “unfortunate and out of line.”
He added, “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.”
Rodrigue also addressed the awkward moment on Twitter, saying, “I don’t think it’s ‘funny’ to be a female and talk about routes. I think it’s my job.”
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.