Per Source: New York Times
As Rodrigue said the word “routes,” Newton cracked a broad smile, and after Rodrigue had finished her question, he began his response by saying, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes,” with an emphasis on the word “routes.”
Before I start into my thoughts, I want to make sure you all know that I’m saying what Cam said was wrong and really not ok. Doris Burke is the only announcer on 2K that doesn’t drive me insane, and some of the best interviews in sports today are either done by or on Rachel Nichols. I’m also a big Lynx fan, who’s currently celebrating the 3-2 last second WNBA Finals series win to make it their 4th title since 2011. Huge women’s professional sports guy.
Now into Cam. He’s being absolutely, bonafidely murdered by the sports media, the Internet, all of his sponsors, and every women’s equality group out there right now for one dumb joke he made in an after practice press conference. I think we need to give the guy some benefit of the doubt, now that’s he’s been properly punished as he made reference to in his apology video, or at the least a little break because he’s legitametly being slaughtered out there right now. Enoughs enough at some point. Obviously, I don’t expect you to just let the guy off the leash, or even loosen it a bit, without any explanation of why he should be eased up on, so without further ado.
Many of the articles, quotes, and headlines I’ve read reporting on this incident include testimony and stories from early women sports media members who dealt with sexist situations every minute of the day, every day for the entire beginning stages of their career. These women talk about how they overcame these obstacles and changed the stubborn minds of many as they climbed their way to be respected members at the top of the sports media field. The stories are great and inspirational, but this is where everything gets more out of control than the AFC East standings. People are comparing what Cam said to Jourdan Rodrigue to women breaking gender and social barriers in the sports media world to create the opportunities that are available today. Those two situations aren’t even close to similar in my head. Cam made an offensive joke about that it was funny she was talking about routes to him. Women journalists back in the day we’re definitely objectified and cat called in the work place by co-workers and athletes, laughed at when they applied for jobs or submitted articles for publishing, and had to change all of that by themselves. Comparing those two situations is ten times more offensive than the joke itself. He laughed to himself about a thing she said, then answered her question. He didn’t attack her as a person or her entire life’s work, just made a dumb comment.
If that explanation doesn’t do it for you, and you still think Cam is a patronizing pig, here’s some more about what he actually said that should give him some leniency. As he said himself, he was making a joke that he did not intend to insult anyone, let alone a whole gender. If you watch the interview video where he says it, it becomes even more apparent that it wasn’t supposed to be hurtful. When he says it’s funny to hear a women talk about routes, he’s looking off into space, obviously thinking to himself, and smiling as he sees how the situation relates to his life. Being a star NFL football player, Newton’s been living and breathing football since the end of July and the start of training camp, every single day, and doing it with likely 99% just guys. The only time he gets a break from it all, and probably sees women/girls is when he’s at home with his partner and two daughters. From my understanding of significant others and little girls, the last thing they talk about is football. It’s more yelling and screaming at you along with Disney animated movies, but you love every second of it. So, when he was at his job as a football player for the Carolina Panthers, and the first women he’s seen all day asks him about football, I see how it could be funny in a “are you kidding me” kinda way, i.e. the emphasis on the way he emphasized routes, that she wanted to talk to him about football too. He just needed a break from football for a few minutes, but was rushed into the presser instead. So beforehand you go and put the guy on blast for what he said, think about this, give him a break for getting lost in his thoughts at a bad time, and I mean cmon, he gave a sincere apology for the offensive way his joke came off. He didn’t mean it. Cam also gets his brain pounded for a living, so if he messes up some words in hid head or looses focus, I can see why.