Trouble in Carolina: Cam Newton’s sexist remarks and Jerry Richardson’s sexual harassment controversy
2017 was quite a sports law year for Carolina Panthers fans.
First, in October, their franchise quarterback became the latest villain to belittle a female sports reporter �� Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer. Whether intentional or not, Cam Newton’s decision to state during a post-practice team press conference how it was funny to hear a female talk about routes, signified to the female fan base how far the league is from correcting misperceptions of women in sports.
Rodrigue’s question �� about the zeal with which Devin Funchess ran his routes during a seven-catch, two-touchdown performance in the Panthers’ road victory against the New England Patriots �� should have been an easy football answer for the former NFL MVP. Instead, Newton responded with a sexist jab �� a jab that quickly went viral and led to his loss of sponsorship with Dannon.
Rodrigue briefly met with Newton, and apparently no direct apology was issued to the Panthers beat reporter. It was only after Newton suffered an endorsement fallout that he issued a video-disseminated apology for his remarks.
When Minnesota’s offense huddled for the first time that mid-September afternoon in Pittsburgh, Case Keenum’s energy and confidence quickly filled the circle.
The Vikings were forced to turn to their backup quarterback to start the second game of the season after Sam Bradford’s knee acted up, an ominous development that can doom a team to an autumn of disenchantment and playing for draft pick position.
Despite the decisive defeat against the Steelers that day, though, there was a certain assurance Keenum gave his teammates that suggested they’d be all right.
He’s a guy you want to play for, wide receiver Adam Thielen said.
Four months later, the Vikings and Keenum are still playing. They’re two wins away from reaching the Super Bowl.
Then on Sunday, Walton experimented with a rotation that had Lonzo Ball subbing out of the game earlier than usual. When asked about it, Walton cracked off this killer joke.
Walton’s use of the deadpan is incredible. (I’d love to hear his unadulterated thoughts, but this was obviously meant for humor.) There’s a few coaches who could pull off the execution of this joke, but I’m not sure how many would dare say something like that, just out of concern someone would take it the wrong way.
But we’re glad Walton went for it, because this is a soundbite worth replaying all the time.