"The comments are just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio. "They do not reflect the thinking of the league."
The Charlotte Observer's Jourdan Rodrigue had asked Newton about Devin Funchess' route-running, to which the three-time Pro Bowler said it was "funny to hear a female talk about routes." GQ's Jay Willis provided the transcript of the exchange:
Jay Willis @jaywillis
So Cam Newton said... this today https://t.co/k3kAZGEsOD https://t.co/dyaFqZDFFZ2017-10-4 21:15:44
In a statement to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Panthers spokesman Steven Drummond said he had spoken with Newton and Rodrigue and that the pair had a conversation where "he expressed regret for using those words."
Rodrigue offered a somewhat different story to Rapoport:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
Statement from #Panthers beat reporter @JourdanRodrigue on Cam Newton’s comments & response https://t.co/vmffxQ7Jra2017-10-4 23:34:03
Reaction was swift and critical of Newton, who seemingly reinforced the stereotype that women are somehow incapable of understanding football at a level men can.
The comment is particularly notable considering women make up 45 percent of the NFL's fanbase.