During Cam Newton’s Wednesday, October 4th press conference, Reporter Jourdan Rodrique asked a question about the type of route a wide receiver on the team ran. Newton responded by stating he found a female reporter asking about routes ‘funny’.
As a result, Mz. Rodrigue has found herself in the national spotlight regarding the topic of sexism in sports – and in the world at large.
However, limiting Rodrigue to just this incident would be equally as dismissive as Newton’s comments. Who is Jourdan Rodrigue? What does she cover for The Panthers? And what exactly happened during -and after- this fateful press conference? Read on to find out.
1. She’s a News Reporter for The Charolette Observer.
In sports it’s easy to gravitate to the big personalities and analysts. However, the work done in the trenches is where the news is made and where the personalities and analysts like those you see on Undisputed with Shannon Sharpe, and First Take with Max Kellerman get their information.
In those trenches are reporters like Rodrigue. She asks questions, reports answers, compiles stats, and continually finds unique angles to cover regarding Panthers Football.
In the literally dozens of articles credited to her byline, the overwhelming majority are hard news focused. Julius Peppers wins NFC Defensive Player of The Week, a coach’s comment on a rookie, roster cuts, info on a player’s knee brace, and so on. The sports news entertainment apparatus is built on the foundation reporters like Jourdan Rodrigue create.
2. She’s Been A Sports Reporter Her Entire Professional Life.
Graduating from Arizona State University in 2014 with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, she immediately began producing and writing for the KTAR radio station and for ArizonaSports.com.
From there, she took her talents to the MLB as a Real Time Correspondent, before landing as a Penn State football Beat Reporter, and finally arriving at the Charlotte Observer, where she’s been since October of 2016.
She also co-produced a sports documentary about the 2015 Dobson Girls Basketball team and their Division I state championship:
3. She asked Panther’s QB Cam Newton about Wide Receiver Routes, and Cam Newton found it ‘funny’.
When asking about the physical nature of rookie Wide Out Devin Funches’ routes during a Wednesday afternoon press conference, Newton responded with: “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes like…it’s funny.’
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These comments were viewed by many as sexist, and the twitter-verse lit up, outraged at the statement:
A few even got analytical in an ironic twist:
4. Rodrigue Responded She Didn’t Find It ‘Funny’ and The Panthers Released A Statement.
Following Newton’s comments, Rodrigue was understandably irked and tweeted her frustration:
She released a fuller statement to The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport elaborating on how Newton’s comments made her feel:
The Panthers released a statement, also to Rapoport regarding the events following Cam Newton’s comments, stating Newton and Rodrigue spoke and Newton ‘expressed regret’.
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5. Rodrigue States Newton did NOT apologize.
Following the Panthers’ statement, it seems the hachet was possibly buried. While the world at large would continue debating and condemning Newton’s comments, perhaps the issue was put to rest quickly between Rodrigue and Cam Newton.
It was not. Tweeting after The Panthers’ statement, Rodrigue said Newton actually made things worse before saying she had work to do and putting the matter to bed temporarily:
Thus, the situation remains unresolved. What’s clear here is Cam Newton is possibly unfamiliar with presence of reporters like Doris Burke, Sage Steele, Cari Champion, Jackie MacMullan, and many more.
People of all shapes, sizes, colors, and genders love sports. Ones who work as hard as Rodrigue does, and cover the type of news Rodrigue does, got to where they are via hard work, talent, and dedication. You don’t just happen into a Panthers’ press pass and press conference. You have to earn it. And despite what Cam Newton may think, many women, including Mz. Rodrigue, have.