cam newton-jourdan rodrigue

On Wednesday, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton came under fire for laughing at a question from Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue before declaring that, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes.”

Newton was rightfully pilloried for the remark, which suggested a lack of regard for the many women who cover sports at least as capably and intelligently as their male peers. When the quarterback failed to apologize, the criticism intensified. On Thursday Dannon Yogurt announced it was cutting ties with Newton.

But because Newton has in the past been the target of attacks that appear racially coded, the online conversation over his comment to Rodrigue quickly devolved into a racism vs. sexism debate that was often light on nuance. That only intensified when Twitter users discovered tweets sent by Rodrigue years ago that condoned racism and used the n-word.

On Thursday, Rodrigue apologized for the tweets, writing that, “there is no excuse” for “the sentiment behind them.”

If nothing else, this whole incident shows that the world is not full of good guys and bad guys, victims and perpetrators. Newton has been the victim of racism, but on Wednesday he was the perpetrator of sexism. Rodrigue was the victim of sexism Wednesday, but previously she was the perpetrator of racism. Rodrigue messed up sending those tweets, which does not at all diminish that Newton messed up by suggesting women don’t know anything about football.

Yep, this may require us to hold more than one thought in our heads at the same time.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

  • Jeff Dudash

    At this point, I’m just going to leave myself in a permanent state of OUTRAGED.

  • cpcva

    . Just quit tweeting

  • OOS

    Any chance we can use this situation to admit that none of us is perfect and stop throwing stones at each other?

    • nc

      that would be nice…

    • BRUHMAN

      As long as both suffer consequences. As of now only Cam has lost a sponsorship. Where is her punishment?

      • KVWN

        She works for the charlotte observer. Thats a kind of punishment

  • JoeSlick

    But she ended it with an ‘…a’ and not an ‘…er.’

    My rule book always said that was OK? Has there been updates?

  • notfunny2u

    And here I was thinking SkyNet was the technology that was going to kill us…

  • Paulmatthew22

    Oh my gosh,.Most women DON’T know football vernacular,This WAS funny! It’s SOO stupid,.It’s notsexist to be SURPRISED,.gimmie a break,.this is the biggest no-story STORY of all-time

  • Shawn Rychling

    Notice there were no white men involved in this one

  • Rick Polermo

    I’m glad we were all just educated on sexism. She can be fired now, right? A man would be fired in five minutes for tweets like that.

  • Rowdy Piper

    Competitive victimhood is fast becoming my favorite sport. And nobody covers it better than Awful Announcing.