Cam Newton Apologizes, Says Comments To Reporter Were ‘Extremely Degrading And Disrespectful To Women’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton took to Twitter Thursday night and issued a video apology for his remarks toward a woman reporter.

“After careful thought, I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women, and to be honest, that was not my intention, and if you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you,” Newton said.

The former league MVP has been under fire for his behavior and comments toward Jourdan Rodrigue, a Charlotte Observer reporter.

MORE: Female Reporter At Center Of Newton Controversy Apologizes For ‘Offensive Tweets’

When Rodrigue asked Newton about wide receiver Devin Funchess’ route running Wednesday, Newton laughed and said, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes. It’s funny.”

After the incident, Rodrigue posted on Twitter: “I don’t think it’s ‘funny’ to be a female and talk about routes. I think it’s my job.”

In his apology, Newton noted that he has two daughters and tries to be a role model.

“I’m a man who tries to be a positive role model in my community, and tries to use my platform to inspire others, and I own – I take ownership to everything that comes with that, and what I did was extremely unacceptable,” Newton said. “I’m a father to two beautiful daughters, and at their age, I try to instill in them that they can do or be anything they want to be.”

Newton said he has “lost sponsors and countless fans,” and said he realized “that the joke is really on me.”

“I’ve learned a valuable lesson from this, and to the young people who see this, I hope that you learn something from this as well. Don’t be like me. Be better than me,” he said. “And to the reporters, to the journalists, to the moms—supermoms, to the daughters, the sisters and the women around the world, I sincerely apologize, and hope that you can find the kindness in your heart to forgive me. Thank you.”

Rodrigue released a statement through The Charlotte Observer via email saying that Newton did not apologize when they spoke after the news conference.

She said she “was dismayed by his response, which not only belittled me but countless other women before me and beside me who work in similar jobs. I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologize for his comments.”

As CBS2’s Steve Overmyer reported, Newton was at practice Thursday. But the NFL was not pleased with him.

The league issued a statement saying his comments were “just plain wrong.”

Earlier Thursday, Dannon, the maker of Oikos yogurt, said it was cutting ties with Newton as its spokesman over the remarks.

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