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Rivera: Cam Newton made 'mistake' with comment

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Cam Newton "made a mistake" when his quarterback said Wednesday "it's funny to hear a female talk about routes" after being asked by Jourdan Rodrigue, a female reporter for The Charlotte Observer, about Devin Funchess.

"I understand he had a conversation where he pretty much said shouldn't have said what he said," Rivera said during his Thursday news conference, "and so as far as I'm concerned what I'd like to do is talk about is getting ready for the Detroit Lions who we play on Sunday."

At the end of Rivera's media session, he was asked if he has spoken with Newton about his comment or if plans to.

"I've pretty much have made my comments, guys," Rivera said. "I just want to leave it at that."

Newton has received heavy criticism following his remarks, which have affected his relationship with Dannon. Newton had appeared in advertisements for Oikos Greek Yogurt.

"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," Michael J. Neuwirth, Dannon senior director, external communication, said Thursday. "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."

"The agreement has not been terminated however we will no longer work with him and are removing advertising with him in it."

After Newton's comment became a national storyline, three past tweets of Rodrigue's came to light in which she was racially insensitive. Rodrigue posted an apology Thursday morning on Twitter.

On Wednesday, Panthers spokesperson Steven Drummond issued a statement saying, "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 to everyone covering the team."

Rodrigue later released a statement regarding Newton's comments.

"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," Rodrigue said.

"I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologize for his comments."

Per the NFL, "The comments are just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league. They do not reflect the thinking of the league."

UPDATE: Newton apologized for his comments in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday night.

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