Quarterback for the Carolina Panthers Cam Newton has come under fire for laughing at a female reporter’s use of football terminology during a press conference Wednesday.
Reporter Jourdan Rodrigue, who covers the team for the Charlotte Observer, asked Newton about running receiver Devin Funchess embracing “the physicality of his routes.”
Newton cracked into a smile and responded, “it’s funny to hear a female talk about routes, like … it’s funny.”
The 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player twice told the assembled press that it was “funny” to hear a woman use the term before answering her question.
“I don’t think it’s ‘funny’ to be a female and talk about routes. I think it’s my job,” Rodrigue said on Twitter following the conference.
Carolina Panthers spokesperson Steven Drummond told The Associated Press that Newton had talked with Rodrigue after the press conference and said the 28-year-old “expressed regret” for his patronizing remarks.
In a statement, Rodrigue said Newton had not apologized to her following the conference. “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,” she said.
Spokesperson for the NFL Brain McCarthy said Newton’s words “‘are just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league,” according to AP.