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Oct 06

Dannon withdraws Cam Newton sponsorship after sexist comment to female reporter

Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Carolina Pathers quarterback Cam Newton is facing backlash after sexist comments made to a female beat reporter earlier this week.

The 2015 NFL MVP responded to a question about wide receiver Devin Funchess’ physical route-running ability by saying that “it’s funny to hear a female talk about routes.”

Now, Dannon, maker of the Oikos yogurt brand, has announced that Newton will no longer work with the brand. Michael Neuwirth, Dannon spokesperson, said the company was “shocked and disheartened at the behavior and comments.”

“It is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to fostering equality and inclusion in every workplace. It’s simply not okay to belittle anyone based on gender. We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him,” Neuwirth added.

Newton’s marketing agent told ESPN that Dannon did not sever its active endorsement deal with Newton, and that he believes the company doesn’t have grounds to do so.

Newton also has a sponsorship deal with Gatorade. That company released a statement Thursday calling the remarks “objectionable and disrespectful to all women.”

“Gatorade fully supports women who compete in, report on, coach for, or play any role in sport – on or off the field.”

Newton is also sponsored by Under Armour, Buick and Beat by Dre. None of those companies have issued a statement regarding Newton’s comments.

The reporter, Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer, said in a statement that Newton did not apologize for his remarks. Panthers director of communications Steven Drummond said Wednesday that Newton and Rodrigue had spoken, and that Newton “expressed regret for using those words.”

The league called Newton’s comments “just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists.”

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