So by now everyone has heard both Carolina Panther’s Quarterback Cam Newton’s comments about how funny he finds females speaking about routes and the apology he posted on his twitter Thursday. If you have somehow managed to avoid this bombshell football news, I’m impressed at your self control/indifference. And this isn’t a take down piece on Cam Newton or an editorial on how professional sports needs to treat females better and as one of the guys. I’m a firm believer in forgiving past mistakes as long as he learns from them and know that he’s a human being that makes mistakes. So kudos to him for apologizing and such. But there are two things that happened in this whole situation that honestly made my blood boil.
When the news first broke about Cam’s remarks, I was shocked that someone of his caliber would spill up that badly in front of reporters because Cam should know better. He’s probably had countless hours of media training throughout his career that probably started in college, so really there is no excuse for what he said. And I applaud the reporter Jordan Rodrigue for her response on Twitter because she didn’t apologize like females tend to do, instead she stood her ground and let everyone know that she’s here to do a job like every other male reporter around her. But what’s not cool about what happened in the following hours was how all of a sudden the focus shifted towards Rodrigue and she became the story.
Yes, she shouldn’t have posted those tweets years ago knowing the field she wanted to go into. But tell me why her past became the story? Why is it that every time something happens with a professional athlete and a female the media immediately has to find something to use against the female? Why was her character suddenly in question? There is no reason to deep dive into her past unless the media was trying to find a way to excuse Cam’s behavior, which is inexcusable. What Cam said is the problem and I don’t care who he said it to, he still dismissed her question simply because she’s a female. Now if he feels that way about reporters in general and had said “I find it funny when reporters ask about routes” that’s a whole separate issue because I would venture to guess that most reporters that cover football know a lot about routes simply because they’ve watched countless hours of games and have picked up a thing or two. So basically when things like this happen, we have to stop finding a way to discredit the ‘victims’ and hold the perpetrator 100% accountable (because it is NEVER the victim’s fault).
Alright so Cam messed up and then apologized so all is good right? Yes and No. Yes because if you watch the apology it sounds like Cam has realized the error in his ways and will hopefully not repeat this action again. No because of two reasons: 1. how the whole apology was handled and 2. he didn’t apologize to Rodrigue. The first reason falls both on Cam and the Panthers. The Panthers should’ve come out and said that while they don’t agree with Cam’s statements and apologize to Rodrigue for his dismissal of her during his press conference, they will work with Cam and the rest of their players to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again. But yet the Panthers stayed mum leaving Cam out to dry and almost making it seem like they’re okay with sexism in the NFL. Cam also dropped the ball on his apology for taking so long, his video should’ve been posted within hours of the comments hitting Twitter. And really him saying that the young people shouldn’t be like him with his actions was a cop out. He’s a role model to a lot of kids and he should actually act like that.
And for the most important reason Cam missed the mark on his apology, how can you not throw a line in your 90 second plus apology to Rodrigue? How do you, a father of two little girls, not directly apologize to her? The whole reason there had to be an apology in the first place is because you dismissed a female reporter just trying to do her job. So why there wasn’t any mention to Rodrigue in the whole apology is blows my mind and makes me think that Cam has no remorse for his actions and in fact doesn’t understand the problem with his words.
I do ultimately hope I’m wrong and that Cam doesn’t make comments like this again, but given the deep rooted sexism throughout the sport of football I’m not going to hold my breath.