The yogurt manufacturer Dannon has severed ties with Cam Newton, less than a day after he directed a sexist quip at Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue.
“It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes. It’s funny,” Newton said after Rodrigue asked a question about Panthers receiver Devin Funchess’s physical approach on Sunday in New England.
“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,” Dannon said in a statement. “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.”
Newton’s agent disputes Dannon’s side of the story.
In a subsequent statement, Dannon said the deal with Newton was still in place but would not be renewed and any ads featuring Newton would be pulled.
Dannon hired Newton as a pitchman in January 2015, the season before he led the Panthers to a 15–1 record and won MVP. His commercials for the company’s Greek-style yogurts ran often during NFL games.
Newton also has endorsement deals with Under Armour and Gatorade. Gatorade released a statement denouncing Newton’s comments, though it did not indicate that the remarks would impact his relationship with the company.