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Cam Newton insults female reporters with ignorant comment

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Cam Newton controversy, but he got himself into one on Wednesday.

This one will and should draw some ire. The Charlotte Observer’s Jourdan Rodrigue, one of the many female reporters who cover the NFL, asked Newton about Carolina Panthers receiver Devin Funchess and how he has “embraced physicality of his routes” this season. It was a good, in-depth question. Newton started smirking as soon as Rodrigue said “routes.” (Check out the video, starting at about 6:39.)

“It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes, like … it’s funny,” Newton said.

There’s nothing “funny” about that, and Rodrigue wasn’t laughing.

I’ve defended Newton plenty for unnecessary attacks on him, but he’s wrong here. What he said was disrespectful to Rodrigue and all women who cover the NFL. He needs to apologize, and maybe grow up a little.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton speaks to the media following a Week 4 game. (AP)

It’s astonishing that Newton would act like this is his first encounter with a woman covering the NFL. Some of the best NFL reporters are women, and have been long before Newton got to the NFL (it’s worth noting this is Newton’s seventh season … why he’s acting like this is the first time he has interacted with a female reporter is beyond me). Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that he had previously referred to a female reporter as “sweetheart” in 2012, via the Washington Post (h/t to JenXperience on Twitter). Obviously he didn’t learn from that.

The Panthers put out a statement Wednesday evening, via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network:

The NFL also put out a statement on Wednesday:

Most players don’t enjoy news conferences. Newton has shown many times before he doesn’t enjoy them (here’s a tip: reporters don’t always enjoy them either). But he’s a professional, just like Rodrigue, and needs to act like one.

Newton is one of the faces of the NFL, but he didn’t represent himself, the Panthers or the NFL very well with one ignorant comment on Wednesday.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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