Carolina Panthers player Cam Newton is under fire for a sexist response to a question asked by a women reporter during a news conference Wednesday (Oct. 4).
According to ESPN, the question was asked by the Charlotte Observer’s Jourdan Rodrigues. Her query involved Newton and his teammate, wide receiver Devin Funches, and if they are embracing the “physicality of routes.” The idea of Rodrigue’s legitimate inquiry was enough to make the quarterback laugh.
“It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes like…it’s funny,” he said with a chuckle.
Rodrigue wrote on Twitter that she “[doesn’t] think it’s “funny” to be a female and talk about routes,” because it’s her job to do so. The Association of Women in Sports Media condemned his usage of the word “female” to describe Rodrigue.
“As a watchdog group, AWSM demands fair treatment and positive workplace environments for women working in sports media,” they said in a statement.
“I know they had a conversation where he expressed regret for using those words,” said Panthers director of communications Steven Drummond, who reportedly spoke to the NFL star and the reporter. “We strive as a department to make the environment for media comfortable for everyone covering the team.”
Twitter users were mixed in their reactions to his response- in fact, it appears that there is a gender divide. Many men are perplexed by the outrage, while women are chastising Newton for his comments. Check out responses to his remarks below.