Oops: Cam Newton goes from left-wing protest hero to sexist pariah in a mere two days

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Friday October 06th, 2017

Adulation is as fleeting a gridiron success, and now he knows about both.

Poor Cam Newton. Or . . . jerk Cam Newton! Things change quickly in left-wing activist parlance, and while it's hard for an NFL player to fall out of favor just days after raising the black-power fist in the middle of a game, it can be done.

Sexism is the key. Apparently to the left-wing mind, sexist guilt overrules racial victimization, at least this week. So Newton has arrived at instant pariah status for his sin of considering it funny that a female reporter asked him an intelligent question about football.

That'll cost you, son, and it's already costing him as yogurt-maker Dannon quickly dispensed with Newton as its commercial spokesman:

Yogurt-maker Dannon cut ties with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on Thursday, a day after Newton said “it’s funny to hear a female talk about routes” in a news conference.

Newton had served as a spokesperson for Dannon’s Oikos line of Greek yogurt, appearing in television ads among other marketing efforts with the company. 

“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,” Michael Neuwirth, senior director of external communications for Dannon, said in an email to USA TODAY Sports.  “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.”

Now I agree that it was idiotic for Newton to react to the question in the way he did, if only because there are so many idiotic questions asked by sportswriters, I'd think an athlete would thank God to receive an intelligent one from anyone, regardless of gender. There are plenty of female sports reporters who know the game just as well as the males do - which in some cases, granted, isn't saying much - and it's stupid beyond belief to stand there and feign shock that one of them understood what routes are.

That said, don't think for a second that Dannon's action is anything but cowardice. Most corporations have no moral or philosophical principles beyond simply avoiding trouble, and Dannon doesn't want to be on the radar screen of feminist activists who accuse it of being every bit as guilty of sexism as Newton himself for continuing to pay for his endorsement. The easy and safe thing to do is to cut ties, because left-wing activists will make your life miserable if they get you in their sights. That's the only thing that drove Dannon's action here - simple fear.

But the much funnier aspect of this story is the take of one Nancy Armour, who is allegedly a USA Today sportswriter but usually sounds more like a political commentator, and definitely one of the left-wing bent at that.

On Monday, after Newton raised the black power fist in the Panthers' surprising win over the Patriots, he was Armour's hero:

As with just about everything in our country now, Cam Newton’s explanation for his raised fist was both simple and complex.

Yes, Newton bowed his head and raised his left arm, hand clenched, as a salute to black power after he scored a touchdown. Like the players who have knelt or raised their fists during the national anthem, the Carolina Panthers quarterback is concerned about the systemic racism that continues to plague the United States.

But he prefers to act as a magnet rather than a lightning rod.  

“I did it to show black pride because I am an African American,” he said. “But more or less, I want all people just to see when I play, I want them to see the joy that I go out there and play with. Win, lose or draw, it was a great win for us today and I just hope that I — not I, we as a team, put a lot of smiles on the beautiful people of the Carolinas.”

How brave! How heart-rendering! What a historic marker for the change society needs! Cam Newton! Hero of social protest and truth-teller!

Nancy's heart was all a-flutter, but not for long. Once he dropped his crass comment about female reporters, the magic was gone, and quickly:

Amy Trask. Sarah Thomas. Jen Welter. Kathryn Smith. Katie Sowers.

Any one of those women, and countless others, can talk routes and whatever else you’d like to throw at them as a “test” of their football acumen. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that every one of them — and, again, the countless other women — can talk circles around Cam Newton when it comes to the game he seems to think belongs in a clubhouse with a “No Girls Allowed” sign on the door.

Before you start snickering or roll your eyes, let’s revisit. Trask was the NFL’s first female CEO, hired by Al Davis, who wasn’t exactly known for suffering fools or hiring folks for fun. Thomas is the league’s first female referee. Welter was the NFL’s first female assistant coach, followed soon after by Smith, the league’s first full-time female assistant.

As for Sowers, you can find her up in the press box at San Francisco 49ers games this season, part of Kyle Shanahan’s offensive staff.

So no, Cam, it’s not “funny” to hear “a female talk about routes” as you said Wednesday when you tried to belittle Jourdan Rodrigue, the Carolina Panthers beat writer for the Charlotte Observer, after she asked a perfectly reasonable question.   

It’s 2017. And your response was as ignorant as it was sexist.

I always think it's funny when liberals say things like "it's 2017" as some sort of implied backing of their case, as if the continued passing of time will inevitably prove all left-wing tropes to be correct. Usually writers who fall back on cliches like this aren't intelligent enough to make reasoned arguments, and often that works just fine for them because they work for high-reach venues like USA Today and they figure the mere fact that so many people are reading their hectoring is proof it must be correct.

Anyway, I guess the lesson for Cam Newton is that the left won't love you for long if you don't hew to their rules completely, every day, in every conceivable way. Also, yes, female reporters are no more or less likely to understand football than their male counterparts. Anyone who's ever read many of the males can surely attest to that.