After more than 24 hours of heavy criticism and backlash for a comment belittling Charlotte Observer beat writer Jourdan Rodrigue during a news conference, Cam Newton released a video apology via social media.
While he did not address Rodrigue by name in the video, which appeared both on his Twitter feed and Facebook page, Newton did say, “To the reporters, to the journalists, to the moms, super moms, to the daughters, the sisters and the women all around the world, I sincerely apologize and hope that you can find the kindness in your heart to forgive me.”
Newton drew scrutiny Wednesday when he mockingly responded to a question from Rodrigue about how Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess handles the physicality of pass routes. Newton laughed, then said, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes like . . . it’s funny.”
His complete apology can be found below:
“After careful thought, I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women. And to be honest that was not my intentions. If you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize. I’m a man who tries to be a positive role model in my community and tries to use my platform to inspire others. I own . . . I take ownership to everything that comes with that and what I did was extremely unacceptable. I‘m a father to two beautiful daughters and at their age, I try to instill in them that they can do and be anything that they want to be. The fact that during this whole process, I’ve already lost sponsors and countless fans, I realize that the joke was really on me. I’ve learned a valuable lesson from this. To the young people who see this, I hope that you learn something from this as well. Don’t be like me. Be better than me. To the reporters, to the journalists, to the moms, super moms, to the daughters, the sisters and the women all around the world, I sincerely apologize and hope that you can find the kindness in your heart to forgive me.”
Earlier Thursday, Newton’s sponsorship with yogurt company Dannon Oikos was called off. Gatorade also issued a statement condemning Newton’s remark, as did the NFL.