Panthers coach: Cam Newton's apology 'needed to be said'

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Cam Newton's media clash was out of character: Jen Welter

First woman to coach NFL Jen Welter weighs in on the controversy surrounding Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who mocked a female reporter during a press conference.

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera says his star quarterback Cam Newton’s apology for making a sexist remark to a female reporter was “something that was needed to be said.”

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Panthers coach Ron Rivera says Cam Newton's apology for a sexist remark to a female reporter was "something that was needed to be said."

The coach said Friday he thinks the apology "was well said and well put" and hopes "we can move forward from and start again. ... Hopefully this can settle things so we can go forward."

Newton made his remarks Wednesday when Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked the 2015 NFL MVP about wide receiver Devin Funchess' route running. The quarterback laughed and said, "It's funny to hear a female talk about routes. It's funny."

Newton issued a nearly two-minute apology on Twitter Thursday night, saying, "What I did was extremely unacceptable" and that he has "really learned a valuable lesson from this."

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He hasn't directly apologized to Rodrigue.

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Newton’s comment drew harsh rebukes from the NFL and two of his biggest corporate sponsors. PepsiCo’s Gatorade brand called Newton’s comments “objectionable and disrespectful to all women,” adding that they “do not reflect the values of our brand.”

Yogurt-maker Dannon, which collaborated with Newton on several marketing campaigns in recent years, said it would “no longer work with” Newton due to his remark. A company spokesperson said Dannon would pull all existing advertisements where Newton appeared, but declined to comment on reports that the Panthers star would be paid for the remainder of his contract. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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