The Carolina Panthers have been one of the only teams in the NFL this season to not sit or kneel for the anthem. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re devoid of controversy that exists within the league which nobody seems to think is as worthy of attention as what others are kneeling for. That’s all changed now as the cocky quarterback of this team just found out after the vile thing he did to a female reporter which was acceptable before Donald Trump became president.
Among the changes that the new Commander-in-Chief has initiated over the last nine months, is the messages that players within professional sports send. These role models are in positions of influence which have been abused to spread their hateful and/or anti-American rhetoric and bad examples to the younger generation. With great privilege, which getting paid millions to play a game is, comes great responsibility. It’s that latter half of the equation that’s been missing until now that it’s no longer acceptable.
While arrogant and ignorant athletes take a knee on the sidelines to supposedly bring attention to the need for “equality” in this country, they disregard showing the respect they demand, to other people. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton may have never kneeled, but he may have well with the disgusting disrespect he showed a female reporter. However, in Trump’s America, it only took a few hours for him to get exactly what he deserved which isn’t what any of these players expect.
“Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on Wednesday laughed at Charlotte Observer beat reporter Jourdan Rodrigue who asked about one of his teammates, saying it was ‘funny to hear a female’ ask this particular question. It was about wide receiver Devin Funchess embracing the physicality of routes and how Newton felt about it, ESPN and other news outlets reported.”
Before attention was put on actual disparaging and divisive actions within the NFL, this unacceptable behavior carried on without consequence. However, sponsors are starting to see that this isn’t good for business after the American people have spoken with boycotts to show that they’re sick of it. If positive change in this country is what these players wanted with their protests, they are getting it — just not in the way they had hoped.
Newton was given the chance to make it right with the NFL reporter and didn’t. It wasn’t until he was forced by outside heat that he even addressed the controversy and left a lot to be desired. The fact that he even mentioned is publicly, was a shocking announcement, but the way he did it backfired immedaitely.
“Panthers director of communications Steven Drummond said in a statement that he spoke with Newton and Rodrigue ‘and I know they had a conversation where he expressed regret for using those words,’” ESPN reported, according to MarketWatch.
Despite the communication director’s coverup of the situation to save face for his star player, Newton’s contrived “apology” wasn’t (and shouldn’t) cut it this time. There was no remorse behind it other than being called out on it, which fans and sponsors immediately sensed.
“Newton’s sponsors — Dannon’s Oikos yogurt, which on Thursday cut ties with the athlete,” MarketWatch reported. “In a statement, Michael Neuwirth, senior director of external communications for Dannon, said: ’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. It is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to fostering equality and inclusion in every workplace…We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him.’’’
NFL players can’t have it both ways and are getting exactly what they asked for in these protests. If you want respect and equality, you have to show both those things — not just demand it from everyone else while absolving yourself of the expectation. If fair treatment was what these protests were really about, they would practice what they preach, but that’s not the real point the players are trying to make.
Now that we have a capable president in office, who isn’t afraid to speak out against the disrespect and double standard, the country isn’t accepting these attitudes in professional sports anymore. Sponsors are responding in the most appropriate way as well, turning the message back on those who say they are kneeling for one thing, but act the opposite when it counts.
It’s strange that in the immediate aftermath of this truly misogynistic remark that not a single feminist, liberal, or anti-Trump “P*ssy hat” wearing activist came out to condemn Cam Newton. In fact, these activists have been silent on all of the woman-abusing actions and remarks these players have expressed for years. But if a conservative male sneezes in the wrong direction somewhere, they are quick to rally against him for somehow being racist and sexist.