Jordan Rodrigue, the female reporter whom Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton called out in a press conference earlier this week, apologized Thursday for racist tweets she apparently made about four to five years ago.
As reported by ESPN, Cam Newton was addressing reporters at a press conference when he made a remark toward the Charlotte Observer’s Rodrigue that was perceived by many as having sexist undertones. When Rodrigue asked him for his thoughts on wide receiver Devin Funchess’ “embracing the physicality of routes,” Newton responded that it was “funny” to hear a female reporter talk about such football-related topics.
Rodrigue received support from her fellow sportswriters following Wednesday’s controversial press conference, as Newton dealt with the fallout from his remarks, including yogurt maker Dannon’s decision to drop the Panthers quarterback as a spokesman. Scores of football fans also supported and sympathized with the Charlotte Observer reporter. But the incident with Newton also drove some Twitter users to dig up some apparent posts from Jourdan Rodrigue’s past — a handful of racially-insensitive tweets made in the years 2012 and 2013.
According to HuffPost, a pair of tweets referenced a trip she took with her father, where she talked about him being “super racist as we pass through Navajo land.” Replying to a friend, Rodrigue said that her father was “the best,” as he supposedly kept telling racist jokes while they were driving home.
Another old tweet from Jourdan Rodrigue used racist language – the “N-word,” in specific – while she was talking about how fast NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt drives.
HuffPost added that Jourdan Rodrigue took ownership of the racist tweets, which were deleted, yet preserved by Twitter users in screenshot form. She issued an apology stating that there was “no excuse” for the messages she had posted four to five years ago, and the sentiment behind them. The statement was also shared in a Charlotte Observer article that included no additional comment from the publication’s editors or other higher-ups.
As further noted by HuffPost, a lot of fans took to Twitter following Rodrigue’s statement, opining that her apology wasn’t enough, and accusing her of “playing the victim.” Among those who commented was Portland Trail Blazers guard/forward Evan Turner, who called Rodrigue out for complaining about sexist jokes when she herself had previously thought racist jokes were funny. Turner later clarified his stance on the issue, explaining that racism and sexism are both wrong, but not “the same offenses” in terms of gravity.
Meanwhile, Cam Newton tweeted a video where he officially apologized to Rodrigue, calling his word choice “extremely degrading and disrespectful.” Speaking to HuffPost, Charlotte Observer sports editor Mike Persinger also confirmed that the paper will be “working on its own story” on Jourdan Rodrigue and the racist tweet controversy.
[Featured Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]