Cam Newton Loses Dannon Sponsorship for 'Sexist and Disparaging' Comment

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2017

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton during an NFL football game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. (Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini)
Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Yogurt company Dannon announced Thursday that it has cut ties with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton as a spokesman for the brand.

According to A.J. Perez of USA Today, Dannon said the following in a statement: "We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him."

Dannon made the decision after Newton laughed at a question asked by Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue on Wednesday and said it was "funny to hear a female" ask a question about routes, per ESPN.com's David Newton.

Newton shared a statement from the company that deemed Cam Newton's comments "sexist and disparaging to all women": 

‘'We are shocked and disheartened at the behavior and comments of Cam Newton towards Jourdan Rodrigue, which we perceive as sexist and disparaging to all women. It is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to fostering equality and inclusion in every workplace. It's simply not ok to belittle anyone based on gender. We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him.'' 

Despite Dannon's statement, Newton's representative, Carlos Fleming of WME/IMG, said, "Dannon has not terminated the agreement, nor do they have grounds to," according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Rapoport added that Fleming said Dannon is still using Newton in advertising. In response, Dannon said, via James Palmer of NFL Network: "The agreement has not been terminated. However, we will no longer work with him and are removing advertising with him in it."

As seen in the following video courtesy of CBS News, Newton's reaction came after Rodrigue mentioned wide receiver Devin Funchess' penchant for getting involved in physical routes:

Rodrigue tweeted about the matter after the press conference, saying: "I don't think it's 'funny' to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job."

In another tweet, she said she discussed the situation with Newton afterward: "I spoke with him after and it was worse. I chose not to share, because I have an actual job to do today and one he will not keep me from."

Rodrigue also released a statement and said Newton did not apologize for his comments, per David Newton:

"This afternoon, I did my job as an NFL beat writer and asked Cam Newton a question about one of his receivers. 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. I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologize for his comments."

Newton has appeared in commercials for Dannon's Oikos Greek yogurt in recent years.

The 2015 NFL MVP is coming off a difficult season that saw the Panthers miss the playoffs, but his team is off to a 3-1 start, and he threw for 316 yards and accounted for four touchdowns in an upset win over the New England Patriots on Sunday.

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