A question Wednesday from a female reporter brought what the Daily Dot calls a "smirk" to Carolina Panther QB Cam Newton's face and, soon after, a "wave of feminist rage," per RedState. Charlotte Observer journalist Jourdan Rodrigue asked Newton about his teammate Devin Funchess, including "the physicality of his routes" and his "truck-sticking," to which Newton replied: "It's funny to hear a female talk about routes … It's funny." He then added that the wide receiver “Fun is coming along, man. This is a big game for him." Rodrigue tweeted afterward that "I don't think it's 'funny' to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job," and others agreed: Newton's remarks promptly propelled his name into the top online trends, with many commenters calling his words sexist.
"Hey, Cam Newton, it's not that hard to talk about football," Jenny Vrentas writes for Sports Illustrated, launching into her own in-depth take on Funchess. An NFL rep tells NBC Sports Newton's comments were "just plain wrong"; Scott Fowler (one of Rodrique's male Observer colleagues) calls them "inexcusable"; and the Association for Women in Sports Media notes it's "very discouraged," per the Bleacher Report. Still, RedState's Susan Wright says Newton's "pleasant surprise" at Rodrique's question was "no big deal," and ex-Atlanta Falcon Roddy White noted on Twitter he didn't know why people were "making a fuss." Rodrigue tells Fowler: "I was dismayed by his response, which not only belittled me but countless other women before me and beside me who work in similar jobs." She adds she saw Newton after the presser and not only did he not apologize, but things got "worse."