Cam Newton: NFL quarterback makes sexist comment to female reporter
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been criticised after making a sexist comment to a female reporter during a news conference on Wednesday.
Newton, 28, said it was "funny to hear a female" talk about football when questioned by Jourdan Rodrigue, a reporter for the Charlotte Observer.
Rodrigue asked Newton about wide receiver Devin Funchess' route running, which caused him to smirk.
"I was dismayed by his response," Rodrigue said in a statement.
"I did my job as an NFL beat writer and asked Cam Newton a question. His response not only belittled me but countless other women before me and beside me who work in similar jobs."
"There is no excuse for these tweets and the sentiment behind them," she said.
Speaking after the news conference, Panthers spokesman Steven Drummond said: "I have spoken with Jourdan and Cam and I know they had a conversation where he expressed regret for using those words.
"We strive as a department to make the environment for media comfortable for everyone covering the team."
The NFL released a statement in which it said the comments were "plain wrong and disrespectful" and "did not reflect the thinking of the league".
What was said?
The Panthers, who play the Detroit Lions on Sunday, held a news conference in which Rodrigue asked Newton: "I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well. Devin Funchess has seemed to really embrace the physicality of these routes and getting those extra yards. Does that give you a little bit of an enjoyment to see him kind of truck people?"
Newton, who smirked while Rodrigue spoke, replied: "It's funny to hear a female talk about routes. It's funny." He then went on to answer the question.
Who is Cam Newton?
The quarterback was selected by the Panthers as the first pick in the first round of the 2011 draft, after winning the 2010 Heisman Trophy.
He became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 400 yards on his debut and went on to become the first rookie to break the 4,000-yard passing mark.
At the start of the 2015 season, Newton signed a contract extension worth more than $100m (£75.8m) and then led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50, where they lost to Denver, but he was named the NFL's most valuable player of the campaign.