Yogurt company Dannon Inc. announced Thursday it will no longer work with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after he made a sexist comment during a press conference.
The company made the decision after Newton incited widespread backlash for insulting a woman sports reporter who had an ordinary question about the team. Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked the quarterback whether he enjoyed seeing receiver Devin Funchess “embrace the physicality of his routes.”
“It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes like that,” Newton responded. “It’s funny.”
Dannon released a statement explaining it would be “no longer working with” Newton, as his remarks did not fit with the company’s standards.
“We are shocked and disheartened at the behavior and comments of Cam Newton towards Jourdan Rodrigue, which we perceive as sexist and disparging to all women,” the statement reads. “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.”
Gatorade also released a statement disavowing the joke but did not mention whether it would continue to work with the quarterback.
Rodrigue said on Twitter that she didn’t find the remark funny at all, pointing out that talking about routes is her job.
Some have argued Newton’s comments are demonstrative of a larger issue of an overly masculine culture in the NFL.
Panthers director of communications Steven Drummond said Newton said he was sorry for his ill-received quip. “I have spoken with Jourdan and Cam and I know they had a conversation where he expressed regret for using those words,” Drummond said in a statement. “We strive as a department to make the environment for media comfortable for everyone covering the team.”
Following the incident, Rodrigue herself came under fire for racially insensitive remarks she made several years ago on Twitter. She has since deleted the tweets and publicly apologized for them.