Roy Exum: Ease Up On Newton

Sunday, October 8, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

The game of football is almost exclusively played by males and one of the best in the business is Cam Newton. Recently the Carolina Panthers quarterback was asked about a passing route by a female reporter, this perhaps for the very first time in his life, and the crazies among us were quick to pounce.

After sportswriter Jordan Rodrigue asked the question, Newton laughed and remarked, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes. That’s funny.” Ka-BONG! The “snowflakes” came out of the woodwork over such a sexist remark and the feminists over at Dannon Yogurt said it was so disparaging to women they promptly tore up Cam’s sponsorship contract.

I’m in the camp who doesn’t believe it was an intentional slap at women. Those around my campfire think our country has become so politically correct it is stifling conversation. I spent a half-century going to football games and the press conferences that followed and I doubt I ever heard a female writer ask such an intricate question about the game.

Don’t get me wrong. I was in the crowd when females first ventured as sports writers and I thought it was marvelous. Today there are thousands of females who can write rings around me and I can remember dozens of times when I would go into a male locker room after a game, and then rush out to share my quotes with female writers. Those were such fun times, happy days where writers shared quotes and helped one another.

But today people across the nation don’t play as nice. The NFL, with its own glaring problems, rebuked Newton claiming it was “just wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league.”

A day or so later the “spin doctors” in Charlotte persuaded Cam to issue a formal apology and here is what he read after some PR hack handed it to him, “After careful thought, I understand my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespected to women. 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.” (How do I know those ain’t Cam’s words? People who attended Auburn don’t speak frou-frou.)

Man, we got to return back to being “kinder and gentler.” What if Newton had said, “That’s an unusual question from a female … I appreciate your knowledge of our passing game …”? I personally believe so many news organizations today are to too quick to strike, too eager to point out how a strong man stumbles. Everybody is angry and upset.

The Pew Research Center surveyed over 5,000 people who claimed in live telephone that they were each a registered voter and the partisan divide on our political values is wider than it has ever been. Pew uses 11 standards – the same since 1994 – and we’ve just increased the margin from 15 percentage points to 36. Between Barack and Trump, never has the chasm between Democratic values and the Republican mindset been greater.

USA Today and Suffolk University just published a stark poll that reflects Americans are disgusted with everyone in Washington. Here’s one telling figure. When pollsters asked, “Next year, do you want to elect a Congress that … mostly cooperates with President Trump (33 percent,) mostly stands up to President Trump (57 percent), or undecided/refused to answer (10 percent)?”

Gee whiz, a fist fight would be easier.

* * *


(This email came to me Saturday and I can’t resist passing it along)

For those of my generation who do not, and cannot, comprehend why Facebook exists: I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles.  Therefore, every day I walk down the street and tell passersby what I have eaten, how I feel at the moment, what I have done the night before, what I will do later and with whom.

I give them pictures of my family, my dog, and of me gardening, taking things apart in the garage, watering the lawn, standing in front of landmarks, driving around town, having lunch, and doing what anybody and everybody does every day.

I also listen to their conversations, give them the "thumbs up" and tell them I like them.

And it works just like Facebook.

I already have four people following me: two police officers, a private investigator and a psychiatrist.

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