It might be easy to dismiss the comments of an NFL quarterback toward a female sportswriter this week. He’s a football player and you know how they are. Locker room talk and all.
Talk to a woman at your workplace today and you’ll likely find an equally repulsive story as the one from Charlotte where Jourdan Rodrigue, beat writer for the Charlotte Observer, had the courage to do her job.
She asked quarterback Cam Newton about the routes run by receiver Devin Funchess.
It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes,” Newton said, laughing. “It’s funny.”
— Bridget Condon (@BridgetABC11) October 4, 2017
I don't think it's "funny" to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job.
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) October 4, 2017
“I have spoken with Jourdan and Cam and I know they had a conversation where he expressed regret for using those words. We strive as a department to make the environment for media comfortable for everyone covering the team,” a team spokesman said.
Newton didn’t apologize.
Her colleague, Scott Fowler, writes today that he should have.
Rodrigue has pursued being a sportswriter with single-minded determination for the past 10 years. She graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State. She interned with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Arizona State athletic department as a sportswriter. She moved to Pennsylvania and wrote about Penn State football, and we were impressed enough to pluck her from there and put her on the NFL beat alongside Joseph Person.
While at The Observer, she has continued to study. I have watched her time and again have conversations with thoughtful Panthers players such as safety Kurt Coleman and tight end Ed Dickson and ask them increasingly detailed questions about football so she can understand more about it.
In short, Jourdan Rodrigue knew exactly what she was talking about Wednesday.
Cam Newton, on the other hand, had no idea.
It’s important to note that nobody laughed when Newton had his moment of amusement.
So at least there’s that.
Related: On Cam Newton, a ‘funny’ question and a sexist response (Star Tribune)
Archive: When it comes to women, men are going back to the ’50s (NewsCut)