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Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton thought a female reporter’s question about routes was "funny." His response was just another sexist jab in a league that often struggles to treat women with respect

By Jacob Feldman
October 04, 2017

On Wednesday, Cam Newton was asked a reasonable football question from The Charlotte Observer’s Jourdan Rodrigue about wideout Devin Funchess. Newton responded by saying, with a laugh, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes” before speaking about his teammate (around the 6:50 mark in this video). The NFL called the comments “just plain wrong,” but Newton’s words renewed a discussion about the league’s treatment of women—especially after retired wideout Roddy White backed Newton by tweeting, “Why is people making a fuss ... it was funny.”

It wasn't. And neither were Jameis Winston’s comments at an elementary school earlier this year when he said boys needed to be strong while “ladies, they’re supposed to be silent.” Nor was it in 2015 when women were temporarily barred from the visiting locker room in Indianapolis, or when Newton called a female reporter "sweetheart" in 2012. None of this makes the NFL, which has taken years to figure out the best way to talk about, punish, and prevent domestic violence, look good.

The MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas has much more on Newton’s comments. "The truth is," she writes, "most women who work in this field—scratch that, most women in any profession—can share their own stories like this." And, she says, there is only one way for the team to properly handle the situation.

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NOW ON THE MMQB: Tim Rohan spends 24 hours with Jaguars owner Shad Khan ... Robert Klemko gets player reactions to Danny Trevathan's suspension ... Peter King pods with Carpool Dad Peyton Manning ... and (a lot) more

LATER TODAY ON THE MMQB: Albert Breer talks to Bill O'Brien about Deshaun Watson ... Jonathan Jones previews Thursday Night Football ... Klemko has our third Football in America presentation ... and more. Stay tuned.

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PRESS COVERAGE

No. 1 pick Myles Garrett could make his debut Sunday against the Jets.
Tom DiPace/AP

1. We’re not only getting No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky’s debut this weekend, we’re also going to see top pick Myles Garrett’s. As Mary Kay Cabot writes, the Browns’ defensive end announced his return from a high ankle sprain “with the style and flair he’s becoming known for.”

2. “We’re not where we need to be, and anyone who thinks we are, in this building at least, is only fooling themselves.” Kimberley A. Martin picks apart Bills coach Sean McDermott’s words in Buffalo, which help explain his success for those that are starting to believe.

NFL
NFL Week 5 Picks: Who Will Win Patriots-Buccaneers?

3. Kate Hairopoulos reported on comments made by Ezekiel Elliott about how he’s dealing with football while his NFL lawsuit looms. “Just keeping my eyes on what’s important,” he said, later adding, “Sometimes you’ve got to sacrifice for the ones you love.”

4. Jane Ridley spoke with Jennifer Welter about how the NFL’s first female coach beat homelessness to reach the league. For what it’s worth, Welter says she never experienced male chauvinism during her time in Arizona. “I just always assumed they were going to be great with me, and they were,” she said.

Frank Gore is still going strong at 34 years old as he prepares for a matchup against his former team.
Kevin Terrell/AP

5. Frank Gore faces his old team on Sunday. He’s “still working my behind off and still loving it.”

6. Titans coach Mike Mularkey says the team “did not consider” adding Colin Kaepernick. You are already probably imagining the rest of the story. Brandon Weeden got the job “due to familiarity with the Tennessee offense.” Meanwhile, Mark Maske writes that the Raiders should consider adding the former 49er as Weeden said, “We all firmly believe he’s a good enough player to play in this league.”

7. Odell Beckham Jr. claims that Buccaneers corner Vernon Hargreaves told Beckham that the corner knew what routes were coming. Beckham went on to say, “It wasn’t a problem last year when we were winning games, so it’s just a matter of execution.”

8. Roberto Aguayo’s NFL saga continued Wednesday as the Bears, who are still paying the former second-round pick as long as the kicker remains unemployed, brought him back in for a tryout along with Josh Lambo. Current kicker Connor Barth is 2-for-4 on field goal attempts.

9. From an excerpt of a book about American sports stadiums, the secret lives of stadium staffers.

10. Don Banks went there, and he leaves no dirty detail out while explaining the connection (emotional and physical) between quarterbacks and their centers.

Have a story you think we should include in tomorrow’s Press Coverage? Let me know here.

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THE KICKER

Jerry Rice keeps crashing weddings. What can you say, he’s the reception king.

Question? Comment? Story idea? Email me directly or let the team know at talkback@themmqb.com

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