NFL Teams
Darren Rovell, ESPN Senior Writer 19d

Dannon pulls Cam Newton endorsement deal over comment to female reporter

NFL, Carolina Panthers

The fallout from Cam Newton's comments to a female reporter continued Thursday, as one sponsor said it would "no longer work with" the Carolina Panthers quarterback.

Michael Neuwirth, a spokesperson for Dannon, maker of the Oikos yogurt brand, said in a statement that the brand was "shocked and disheartened at the behavior and comments of Cam Newton towards [Charlotte Observer reporter] Jourdan Rodrigue, which we perceive as sexist and disparaging to all women.

"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."

Despite Dannon's positioning, Newton's marketing agent, Carlos Fleming of WME/IMG, told ESPN that the company did not sever its active endorsement deal with his client, "nor do they have the grounds to."

Neuwirth confirmed that the company would continue to keep Newton under contract without using him, but has started the process of pulling existing advertising that includes Newton.

Newton replaced actor John Stamos as the brand's primary spokesman in January 2015, beating out Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson for the job.

Gatorade also issued a statement Thursday, saying, "Cam's comments were objectionable and disrespectful to all women and they do not reflect the values of our brand. Gatorade fully supports women who compete in, report on, coach for, or play any role in sport -- on or off the field."

Newton's other primary sponsors, including Under Armour, Beats by Dre and Buick, have not issued comments since Wednesday's news conference, when he responded to Rodrigue's question about wide receiver Devin Funchess embracing the physicality of routes with, "It's funny to hear a female talk about routes."

Panthers director of communications Steven Drummond said Wednesday in a statement that he spoke with Newton and Rodrigue, "and I know they had a conversation where he expressed regret for using those words."

Rodrigue said in a statement that Newton did not apologize. Mike Persinger, the executive sports editor of the Observer, said Newton's comments were "unfortunate and out of line."

In a statement Wednesday, the NFL said "the comments are just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists. They do not reflect the thinking of the league."

The Pro Football Writers of America also condemned Newton's comments, saying in a statement that he "crossed the line."

Information from ESPN's David Newton and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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