“After careful thought, I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women," the Carolina Panthers quarterback said at the start of the nearly two-minute video. “To be honest, that was not my intentions. And if you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you.”
When Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked Newton about wide receiver Devin Funchess’ route running Wednesday, Newton laughed and said, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes. It’s funny.”
The NFL released a statement Wednesday saying that Newton's response to the question was “just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league.”
Dannon, the maker of Oikos yogurt, ended its endorsment with Newton on Thursday. Company spokesperson Michael Neuwirth released a statement saying it was “shocked and disheartened” at the former league MVP's behavior and comments.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera addressed the situation briefly during his press conference Thursday, saying, “I think Cam made a mistake. I understand he had a conversation where he pretty much said he shouldn't have said, what he said.”
Rodrigue issued a statement Wednesday evening saying she and Newton did speak after the news conference, but said the quarterback didn't apologize for his remarks.
Rodrigue was back in the locker room on Thursday, flanked by Mike Persinger, the executive sports editor of The Charlotte Observer. On Wednesday, Persinger said Newton's comments were “unfortunate and out of line.”
“I apologize for the offensive tweets form my Twitter account from 4/5 years ago,” Rodrigue said on her Twitter page. “There is no excuse for these tweets and the sentiment behind them. I am deeply sorry and apologize.”