Panthers' Ron Rivera on Cam Newton's sexist comments: He 'made a mistake'
Newton has faced significant backlash since he said it was 'funny' to hear a 'female' talk about routes
It's been more than 24 hours since Panthers quarterback Cam Newton made a sexist remark at Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue and he still hasn't issued an apology for his comment. His coach, however, is willing to admit that Newton "made a mistake."
On Thursday, Ron Rivera addressed Newton's comments. As expected, he didn't want to spend much time talking about it.
"I think Cam made a mistake," Rivera said, per ESPN. "I understand he had a conversation where he pretty much said he shouldn't have said what he said. As far as I'm concerned, what I'd like to do is talk about the Detroit Lions, who we play on Sunday."
"That's something for Cam to deal with and you guys to deal with," he said. "We weren't there. We really don't know what is happening. So we're really focused in on Detroit. We can't allow anything for us to be a distraction."
In case you missed what happened, here's a brief explainer. During Newton's weekly press conference on Wednesday, Rodrigue asked Newton a question about Devin Funchess' route-running.
"I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well," Rodrigue said. "Devin Funchess has really seemed to embrace the physicality of his routes and getting those extra yards, does that give you a little bit of enjoyment to see him kind of truck-sticking people out there?"
Before he answered the question, Newton said that it was "funny to hear a female talk about routes."
Rodrigue addressed the incident on Twitter.
According to Rodrigue, she approached him about his comment after the press conference. Here's how that conversation went, as the Observer's Scott Fowler wrote:
She asked the quarterback if he really didn't think a female could understand routes.
Newton said she wasn't really seeing specific routes when watching the game, she was just seeing if somebody was open. She argued that he didn't know what she saw nor how hard she had studied football, and that maybe the two of them needed to have a deeper conversation.
Newton said that maybe he should have said it was funny to hear "reporters" talk about routes and that, if she actually did know about them, then she knew more than most reporters. Then he gestured toward the locker room, still filled with her colleagues.
Rodrigue ended by asking Newton -- whom she had introduced herself to on the first day of her employment with The Observer in October 2016 -- if he knew her name after she had covered the team almost every day for the past year.
Newton said he did not.
"Jourdan Rodrigue, Charlotte Observer," she said, and then walked away.
In the aftermath, Newton was dropped by Dannon Oikos as an endorser. He's yet to address his comments.
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