NFL to Cam Newton: Thanks, we really needed another controversy — NOT

NFL to Cam Newton: Thanks, we really needed another controversy — NOT

NFL to Cam Newton: Thanks, we really needed another controversy — NOT

The NFL can’t seem to stay out of the headlines these days. Between the ongoing battle to ban Zeke Elliot for 6 games for violating NFL rules concerning personal conduct to the players sitting, kneeling or just not coming out for the National Anthem, the league has taken a beating of late. Now it has another controversy on its hands, one that never should have happened, and all thanks to quarterback Cam Newton. You know Newton. He’s the player who walked out on the post-game press conference after Super Bowl 50 because he hadn’t won the game. So, what’s he done this time? I’ll let you see for yourself.

The reporter, Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer, has been a sports beat writer covering the Panthers for approximately a year. So this isn’t the first time she’s had to step up to the plate, to use a baseball metaphor, to do her job. Her question was on point with what happened during the game and was, in no way, insulting or condescending with regard to Newton or to Panther’s wide receiver Devin Funchess.

Unfortunately, Newton, who seems to believe he can do or say whatever he wants simply because of who he is, didn’t feel the need to respond with the same respect he’d been shown. As the video shows, he smirked, he laughed and he insulted. Then and only then did he get around to answering the question.

NFL Network reporter Ian Rappaport later tweeted this statement from Rodrigue:

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 at 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.

Other responses were quick to come in.

“The comments are just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told The Washington Post. “They do not reflect the thinking of the league.”

The Association for Women in Sports Media said it was “very discouraged by Cam Newton’s disrespectful remarks and actions directed to a female reporter during today’s Carolina Panthers press conference. As a watchdog group, AWSM demands fair treatment and positive workplace environments for women working in sports media.”

Cam Newton in the Carolina Panthers’ win on Sunday. Credit Winslow Townson/Associated Press

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

It is interesting to note here not only the different interpretation of the conversation between the parties after the press conference but also how very carefully Drummond says everything except what was really important – Cam Newton may have expressed “regret for using those words” but where is the apology? Where is Newton either last night or today saying how sorry he is for basically saying a woman has no business talking football?

And that, you see, is part of the problem. Sure, the NFL will condemn what he said. But what action will it take to insure such attitudes no longer permeate the locker rooms? It waited too long before taking a stance against domestic violence by its players. I have very strong feelings about how wrong it was to allow Michael Vick to return to the league after his conviction for running a dog fighting ring. USA Today maintains a database of NFL player arrests. Compare that with the NBA arrest database where, over a period of 65 years there have been 350 arrests. I gave up counting the NFL arrests when I hit the 200 mark in Feb. 2013. TWO HUNDRED arrests in a little over 4 ½ years. Why does the league have this kind of a problem?

Fumble? Getty Images

The simple answer, at least when I look at players like Cam Newton, is that they don’t believe they are required to live by the same rules as the rest of us. He had no issues with making fun and putting down a female reporter. He had no issues pitching a fit at the end of Super Bowl 50 and walking out of the press conference. His excuse that time? He’s a poor loser. Well guess what? So are a lot of us but we learned that there are others who rely on us to lead our team, whether it is a sports team or an office or just our family. Someone has to set the example and it isn’t Newton and it sure as heck isn’t the NFL.

Cam Newton, and so many others in the league, need to grow up and learn what it means to be an adult. The league itself needs to quit shutting its eyes to what the underlying problems are with their players. The NFL should have learned with Vick and Ray Rice (who, according to the Daily Mail, has become a “public speaker on bad decision-making and domestic violence”), as well as so many others, that the public will no longer turn a blind eye to the actions of its players. It remains to be seen what, if anything, it does regarding Cam Newton’s latest act of idiocy. Will we be satisfied with a slap on the wrist or will we sit back and watch as he is allowed to continue to act like a spoiled child?

I, for one, will not. I need to see that the NFL finally understands that its customers, the fans, are fed up with the childish and disrespectful behavior of its employees (the players, coaches and staff). It is time we show the league that enough is enough. Since the league values the dollar, it is easy enough to do. Don’t turn on the TV and deprive them of their advertising dollars. Don’t buy those tickets to go to the games. You know they are already getting the message, or they should be, when DirectTV started issuing refunds to those subscribers of its Sunday Ticket package who wanted it.

As employers, we hold our employees responsible for actions they take that shine a bad light on our business. As employees, we know we face reprimand – or worse – if we do anything publicly that brings bad press to our employers. Why shouldn’t the NFL apply the same standard to its players, all its players, no matter what their “superstar” status might be?

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7 Comments
  • GWB says:

    There’s still an NFL on tv? Who knew?

  • Douglas Purdie says:

    It’s OK for Cam to insult women because he’s black and racial identity grievance trumps gender identity grievance, or something, I think. Somebody should ask the expert Lena Dunham about this.

  • David Lentz says:

    Pet lovers, conservatives, patriots, now women, is there any viewer demographic left for the NFL to insult?

    David

  • Scott says:

    That’s what happens when you take a bunch of hood rat thugs, and give them millions of dollars… the thug mentality is just magnified…

  • AZ Jeff says:

    Wasn’t this the same individual that snatched an opposing team’s fan’s banner? Apparently he has not learned or matured since that episode.

  • MikeyParks says:

    Hasn’t Michelle Obama given us all permission to let our racist/sexist lights shine?

  • Son of Rusty Shackleford says:

    Black Sports Online has dug up tweets by Ms. Rodrigue where she laughed at “racist” jokes and used the word “N***a” in tweets from a few years ago. I guess sauce for the goose still is sauce for the gander, even among lefty SJW’s (but I repeat myself). I used to care about the No Fans Left, but since Colon Krapernick started his madness with no ill effects last year, I haven’t watched a game, and I find this whole imbroglio hilarious. Last Sunday Cam was a hero and gave the black power salute when he scored a TD, now he’s the most misogynist man this side of PDJT, I guess. I love watching lefties go full cannibal!

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