Bad attempt at joke

Bad attempt at joke
October 18
19:05 2017

On the field Cam Newton is beginning to look like he did during his 2015 MVP season.  Following a crushing 34-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Panthers have reeled off two victories in a row against the Patriots and Lions and looked like one of the best teams in the NFC.  Off the field, Newton recently made some comments to a Panthers reporter that has brought some unwanted attention to the quarterback.

In a press conference following their victory against the Patriots, Newton was asked a question by Charlotte Observer reporter Jordan Rodrigue pertaining to the physical routes that wide receiver Devin Funchess has been running.

He began his response with “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes” which immediately had everyone in an uproar.  Many called the comments condescending and misogynistic. 

I understand where everyone is coming from because as a team reporter, she is supposed to be knowledgeable about her job, regardless of her gender.  I made the assumption that he was impressed with her football knowledge and the factually accurate question she proposed to him.

I do not feel there was any condescension there on his part but instead was a bad attempt at a joke.  It was articulated very poorly in my opinion, but I see where he was going with the comments he made.

Once I sat back and asked myself would I be offended if I were her, I could not answer that question because I am a man. So what I chose to do instead is to pose the exact question to nearly 50 women that I know and do not know around the city.

Out of those nearly 50 women, only two could accurately comprehend what I was talking about.  That does not validate what he said but does point out the fact that it is somewhat of a surprise for a woman to not only know the rules of the sport but to also be knowledgeable about a particular players strength and growth over the years.

A couple of days later, amid humongous scrutiny, Newton decided to release a video apology.  I agree with the fact he needed to apologize for the tone of his comments but I felt he should have explained where the comments’ origin came from.  I feel as though that would have given better context to the poorly executed joke he was attempting to deliver.

On top of the backlash he received following that press conference, he was also dropped from an endorsement deal from Dannon.  They severed the relationship with Newton, calling his comments “sexist and disparaging to all women.”  Newton has been a rep for the yogurt brand since 2015.

To me that move was a little drastic because I do not feel the comments had malicious intent; it was just a bad choice of words.  Not to compare apples to oranges, but I’ll just say there have been people in “higher positions” that have said more disparaging comments about women, and they were not joking.  Think about that for a second when attempting to condemn Newton.

Next time, I’m sure Newton will keep comments like this to himself.  He is one of the more articulate NFL players in the league, which makes this even more confusing because he could have conveyed his joke differently as to not offend the young lady.

Lastly, do I feel these comments were blown way out of proportion? Yes. But do I also understand how PC (politically correct) we are as a country now in 2017? Also Yes. 

I also understand that in a professional setting, his comments were somewhat uncalled for but for the women who did find his comments offensive, lets cut him some slack.  To be honest, as a sports reporter myself, I was also impressed with the in depth question.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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