During a press conference on Wednesday, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton made a very sexist remark about Panthers beat reporter Jourdan Rodrigue.
Rodrigue asked Newton a question about the “routes” another player was running in a recent game. Newton responded by saying, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes. It’s funny.”
Um, excuse me? What is so funny about a woman whose job is to cover football asking a football quarterback a question about football? I don’t get it. Maybe I’m missing something here.
There’s no way for Rodrigue to win here. If she had come into the press conference unprepared, then she would be looked down on as a woman who didn’t know what she was talking about instead of just a person who made a simple mistake. But she was prepared, and Newton still wasn’t ready to take her seriously. It just shows how women journalists in the industry have to work twice as hard to gain any respect.
Rodrigue took to Twitter to express how not funny she felt her question was:
She even said that she spoke with Newton after the press conference and he didn’t offer an apology.
A spokesperson for the Panthers said in a statement that Newton’s comments “are just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league. They do not reflect the thinking of the league.”
But this isn’t even the first time that Newton has disrespected a female reporter. Back in 2012, Newton called a reporter “sweetheart.”
“I really don’t. I wish I could tell you. But the only thing I control, sweetheart, is myself. Offensively, I am the leader of this bunch and we haven’t been getting the job done,” Newton said.
Newton is far from the only person to disrespect female journalists in the sports industry. Women are constantly having to defend their very right to be sports reporters at all, or fight simply to be in the locker room.
Another reporter, Dionne Miller, summed things up perfectly back in March:
As a woman in sports, I already know I HAVE to push harder. I have to know more, I have to research more, I have to work harder. I can’t make as many mistakes. I am fully aware of this fact and it’s a drag sometimes. But it will never make me want to quit.
Oh and remember that video #MoreThanMean? It was published back in April 2016, and showed men reading comments made to sports reporters Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro. One of the commenters said, “This is why we don’t hire any females unless we need our cocks sucked or our food cooked.” Yeah, and that was only one of the comments. There were PLENTY more!
It’s 2017, but clearly, some people haven’t learned that women are not exclusively made to just take up “traditional roles” like cooking and cleaning. If a woman is doing her job and asking relevant questions, then she shouldn’t be discriminated against because of her gender. Why is that so hard to understand?
Update, 1:38 PM: Sigh. So it turns out that Jourdan Rodrigue made some racist comments on Twitter a few years back, which, though it doesn’t excuse the way Cam Newton treated her, is still very bad. She apologized today for making them.
For more news and opinions that get under your skin, follow us on Facebook.