“To be honest, that was not my intention. If you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you,” he said in a video posted Thursday night. “I'm a man who tries to be a positive role model to my community and tries to use my platform to inspire others. I take ownership to everything that comes with that. What I did was extremely unacceptable.”
Newton received a lot of heat this week after he responded to a question by Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer: “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes,” he said with a laugh during a press conference.
The comment was immediately criticized as sexist, and was denounced by the NFL, the Association of Women in Sports Media, the Pro Football Writers Association, and the Associated Press Editors. Newton also lost a sponsorship deal with Dannon less than 24 hours after the press conference. A spokesperson for Oikos yogurt said the company was “shocked and disheartened” by Newton’s words, and confirmed the company would pull all advertisements featuring the athlete.
“The fact that during this whole process I've already lost sponsors and countless fans, I've learned that the joke is really on me,” Newton said. “I've learned a valuable lesson from this. And to the young people who see this, I hope you learn something from this as well. Don't be like me; be better than me. And to the reporters, to the journalists, to the moms—super moms—to the daughters, sisters and women all around the world: I sincerely apologize and hope that you kind find the kindness in your heart to forgive me.”
You can watch the video below.