Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
5 October 2017
How can Cam Newton be so stupid?
Checking my calendar. It is 2017, right? Not the 60s or something? Because I wonder after Cam Newton’s answer to a question from Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue.
Her question? Cam, I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well. Devin Funchess has seemed to really embrace the physicality of his routes and getting those extra yards. Does that give you a little bit of enjoyment to see him kind of truck-sticking people out there?
His answer? It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes.
It was such a stupid thing to say. Insensitive. Sexist. And I expect we’ll hear an apology from Newton today, with him meeting with Rodrique.
Here’s my greater point. How stupid have we all become? We elect a moron for president according to his Secretary of State. Many of us are somehow unconcerned that a foreign power meddles in our elections. We encourage poking the stick at a North Korean madman. Have we not evolved as human beings? Maybe I’m asking too much based on one incident. But it makes you wonder.
“The next time I hear a male reporter ask an athlete, ‘How does it feel?’ or ‘Talk about…’ I’ll remember Jourdan Rodrique actually asked a FOOTBALL question. How does THAT prompt THAT response.”
Stunning that Cam Newton would say that in this day and age
Well, history teaches us that people are both smart and dumb. Good and bad. A mix of all those things. It’s what makes branding strategy so fascinating to me. Humans are complex, and hopefully evolving.
I asked one of our senior brand strategists, Michael Van Ausdeln, about his take on Cam’s answer. He was a longtime sports reporter, having spent numerous time in locker rooms, both professional and amateur, including in the NFL.
The surprising part is that anyone would even think that in this age. There was sexism in sports back when I was a reporter. But that was 20 years ago. I thought we were long past that now. And let’s be honest. Some of the best sports reporters are women. The next time I hear a male reporter ask an athlete, “How do you feel?” or “Talk about…” I’ll remember that Jourdan Rodrique actually asked a FOOTBALL question. How does THAT prompt THAT response?
This incident will blow over. Cam will apologize. Roderique will continue her beat reporting. (She has a story today about star defensive end Julius Peppers.) But I feel like asking, “Can’t we all just act a little smarter?” “Are the -isms of today as prevalent as they have always been?” “Have we gotten nowhere?”
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