PFWA Statement on Cam Newton comment

A statement from the Pro Football Writers of America (Oct. 4, 2017):

The Pro Football Writers of America strongly condemn Cam Newton’s demeaning comment toward a female media member Wednesday afternoon.

When Charlotte Observer Panthers beat writer Jourdan Rodrigue asked Newton during his weekly news conference how he felt about receiver Devin Funchess embracing the physicality involved with some of his pass routes, Newton chuckled and said: “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes.”

Panthers PR official Steven Drummond said in a statement: “I have spoken with Jourdan and Cam and I know they had a conversation where he expressed regret for using those words. We strive as a department to make the environment for media comfortable for everyone covering the team.”

Rodrique later issued her own statement: “This afternoon, I did my job as an NFL beat writer and asked Cam Newton a question about one of his receivers. 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. I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologize for his comments.”

The PFWA fights not only for access and transparency when it comes to NFL matters, but also for respect in the treatment of its members by league employees. Newton, the public face of the Panthers and one of the league’s more popular players, crossed the line.

Rodrigue currently is not a PFWA member (we hope to change that soon), but our organization proudly stands beside her in her fight to be treated with respect while doing her job. That said, our organization does not condone her use of the N-word that was found on her Twitter account from a few years ago, nor her making light of her father telling racist jokes on a trip across Navajo land.

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