Cam Newton’s sexist comments to a female reporter on Wednesday have already drawn an ejection from one of his sponsors.
Dannon has dropped the Panthers quarterback from its group of celebrity endorsers after Newton ignited backlash when he responded to a question by Charlotte Observer beat reporter Jourdan Rodrigue, saying, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes.”
Dannon, which had featured Newton in its Oikos yogurt commercials, said it won’t tolerate the NFL star’s behavior.
“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,” the company said in a statement on Thursday, per ESPN. “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.”
Rodrigue had asked Newton about wide receiver Devin Funchess and his play.
“I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well,” she said. “Devin Funchess has seemed to really embrace the physicality of his routes and getting those extra yards. Does that give you a little bit of an enjoyment to see him kind of truck-sticking people out there?”
Newton smirked as he listened to the question before offering his flippant response.
After the press conference, Rodrigue shot back at Newton on Twitter.
Shamed athletes who have lost endorsement deals
“I don’t think it’s ‘funny’ to be a female and talk about routes,” she wrote. “I think it’s my job.”
Newton’s other sponsors include Gatorade, Beats Electronics, Belk, Electronic Arts and Under Armour, according to Forbes. Dannon is the first to split with Newton following his remarks.
Gatorade issued a similar statement but did not say if it would pull its endorsement deal with Newton.
“Cam’s comments were objectionable and disrespectful to all women and they do not reflect the values of our brand,” the company said, via ESPN. “Gatorade fully supports women who compete in, report on, coach for, or play any role in sport — on or off the field.”