Cam Newton causing controversy at a press conference is nothing new. He has a history of weird press conference moments. He’s taken some heat for how he’s handled himself with the media, sometimes fairly and sometimes unfairly when maybe people have read too much into his body language or his reactions. But there was no reading too much into his press conference yesterday. I give you his exchange with Charlotte Observer beat writer Jordan Rodrigue. Roll it.

That’s demeaning, belittling, misogynistic, and moronic. I could go on. And if you haven’t seen the clip, let me help you out. When Rodrigue says “routes,” Cam starts to smile and that smile gets bigger and bigger

Why not just chase that with “the only route you should know is the one to the kitchen.” That would’ve been a real gut-buster.. . Hey be a sweetheart  and run a 9-route to make me a sandwich?. OH, and yes, he did call a reporter sweetheart back in the day as well.

The only thing missing from that was calling the reporter “little lady” or something like that.

What is with this guy? Seriously. I can’t figure it out. The guy who couldn’t stick around after the Super Bowl to do his job with the media thinks it’s funny when a member of the media is actually doing her job?

I would say it’s the 21st century, but women were covering the league, and covering it well, in the 20th century. Would it be funny to hear Amy Trask talk about routes as the CEO of the Oakland Raiders? Or Pam Oliver? Or Michelle Tafoya? Or Andrea Kremer? That would be hilarious, wouldn’t it, Cam?

Here’s the truth: women have been covering the league longer than Cam’s been alive. And they’ve gotten a ton of crap for it. They had to fight for that right and I would’ve liked to have thought that we were past that, but clearly we aren’t. Not if one of the faces of the league, a guy with a ton of endorsements, a league MVP, is dropping lines like “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes like — it’s funny.”

You know you’ve screwed up your answer in a press conference when the league jumps in immediately… and that’s what they did, via an email from an NFL spokesman to PFT “The comments are just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league. They do not reflect the thinking of the league.”

Another good sign that you might be on the wrong side of an issue? Roddy White is tweeting out his support for you and that’s exactly what he did yesterday: “Why is people making a fuss about cam and the woman reporter? He laughed then answered her question, but it was funny first time for me too”

Then again, Roddy tweeting idiocy isn’t exactly a new thing. During the Penn State-Jerry Sandusky scandal, White tweeted: “I would send my kid there if he wanted to go. He wasn’t rappin football players. That’s a great program that Joe Pa ran”

But wait, it gets worse.

After the press conference, according to the Charlotte Observer, Rodrigue spoke to Newton to ask about what happened. She asked him 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.

So, according to him, not only is it “funny” to hear a woman do her job, but she doesn’t actually even know her job. Keep in mind that he’s talking to the Charlotte Observer beat writer, who’s been covering the team for a year.

I’m not going to bother giving you her resume, her work history, or the backstory on how she became hooked on and so knowledgeable about football, because I wouldn’t do that with a male reporter. The fact that the Charlotte Observer, the paper of record in Charlotte, where the Panthers are located, hired her as a beat writer, tells you everything you need to know about her. She can do the job and she’s doing it, and she will keep doing it, like a pro. Cam could learn something from that.


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