Cam Newton found himself at the center of the NFL news cycle on Wednesday for the wrong reasons. Newton’s remarks towards Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue, in which he said he found it “funny to hear a female talk about routes” were widely criticized for their tactless and sexist nature.
Following the press conference, Newton and Rodrigue spoke, but the Panthers quarterback didn’t offer an apology according to Rodrigue (although the Panthers insist he “expressed regret” for his words) and as of Thursday morning he had not made any official statement. Those comments will likely cost Newton a good bit in terms of how some fans view him, and on Thursday his comments managed to hurt his wallet too.
Newton had been a spokesman for Dannon’s Oikos greek yogurt, but the brand announced on Thursday it would no longer be working with the star quarterback as a result of his sexist comments.
Losing out on money tends to cause change faster than anything else — this applies to almost every situation — so it wouldn’t be surprising if losing out on a sponsorship deal causes Newton to issue a more firm apology to Rodrigue and, more generally, women everywhere. Whether that is satisfying enough to turn public opinion back in favor of Newton, we won’t know, but it would certainly be the right step for him to take right now and try to show some growth and that he was learning from the situation.
Update: Dannon will continue to pay Newton through the end of his contract, but will not use him, indicating they don’t have legal grounds to terminate the contract.