Cam Newton skips out on weekly press conference on same day female reporter returns

For the first time in his career, Cam Newton skipped out on his weekly press conference for a non-injury related reason and no one in the Panthers organization seems to know why. 

In the NFL, star players are required to meet with the media at least once per week during the regular season. For Newton, that meeting was supposed to take place on Wednesday, but it didn't happen because the Panthers quarterback didn't show up. Newton also had an opportunity to meet with the media during an open locker room session on Thursday, but he took a hard pass. 

According to ESPN, he sat at his locker and played loud music during the open media session. In something that could just be a coincidence, Newton's decision to skip out on his press conference comes in the same week that Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue returned to work. 

Rodrigue was the reporter who Newton laughed at during a press conference back on Oct. 4. Rodrigue asked a question about routes and Newton replied by laughing. 

"It's funny to hear a female talk about routes like that," Newton said. "It's funny."

The fallout from the comment reportedly stunned Newton. Less than 24 hours after making the comment, Newton lost a key sponsor (Dannon) and ended up making an apology to women everywhere. Rodrigue also offered an apology of her own to the general public after users on Twitter discovered some racist tweets that she had sent out roughly four years ago. 

After the incident at Newton's press conference, Rodrigue took some time off and didn't return to the Panthers beat until Wednesday, according to ESPN.com. During her two week absence, Newton showed up at both of his weekly press conferences. 

According to the Charlotte Observer, this week's press conference marked the first time in Newton's career that he skipped out on his weekly meeting with the media for a non-injury related reason.

Even the Panthers were baffled by Newton's absence. A team spokesman said Newton didn't offer a reason for his absence. Panthers coach Ron Rivera was even caught off guard by his quarterback's actions.

"I just found out," Rivera said of Newton's no-show, via ESPN.com. "I thought he had a press conference today, but apparently not."

Under NFL policy, Newton can be fined for missing his weekly press conferences. An NFL spokesman told ESPN.com that the league is going to investigate his absence. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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