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updated: 10/6/2017 7:07 PM

Babcock McGraw: Newton's comments forgivable, but women's general response is not

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  • There has been plenty of backlash toward Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after the comments he made to a female reporter during a news conference earlier this week. But the comments from other women about the topic were just as disappointing, columnist Patricia Babcock McGraw says.

    There has been plenty of backlash toward Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after the comments he made to a female reporter during a news conference earlier this week. But the comments from other women about the topic were just as disappointing, columnist Patricia Babcock McGraw says.
    Associated Press

 
 

We live in a world in which someone is always offended by something.

It's why political correctness has gotten out of hand. Many people are afraid to say anything about anything, or anyone.

Quite frankly, it's tiresome. And boring.

And yet, that being said, if I'm being honest, I must admit that I was offended by the condescending remarks that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton made on Wednesday during a news conference.

They cut deep.

They should have cut deep for all women, but I'm afraid they didn't.

When a female reporter asked Newton a serious question about the routes of one of the Panthers' wide receivers, Newton seemed amused, like the question was a big joke.

"It's funny to hear a female talk about routes," Newton said. "It's funny."

Newsflash Cam: female sports reporters can talk about routes. Because they know about routes. Because it's their job.

I like that Newton swiftly issued a seemingly heartfelt apology the next day with a Twitter video. And I buy his message. I think he is sorry for what he said, and I think he realized that, as a father of two daughters, his comments were disappointing.

But just as disappointing to me were the Twitter comments about the topic from countless women. Yes women.

Of course, there were some women, particularly female journalists, who rushed to the side of Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer. I have a feeling they know her pain. They've probably dealt with their own version of Newton's comments somewhere in their career. I know I have.

But many women out there defended Newton, long before he even issued his apology. They said that there was nothing wrong with what he said, and that Rodrigue has no reason to be upset. What's the big deal, some asked? Why is Rodrigue being such a baby?

To which I say ... sigh!

What is it with women supporting other women, especially when it comes to sports?

It is such a struggle. It always has been.

I am perfectly content to forgive Newton for his comments. I think they were made without much thought, I think he was trying to be cute, and quite honestly, I think it is likely that he made them without any malice. I also don't think he should have lost his endorsement with Dannon because of his comments. That was a bit harsh.

But that doesn't mean I shouldn't have a problem with what he said in the first place, and the fact that he said it, and the fact that other men have said similar things in the past about female journalists, or about women in general.

I do, in fact, have a problem with that. And quite frankly, all women should. Newton's comments were degrading, disrespectful and dismissive of the reporter's expertise.

And essentially, they were degrading, disrespectful and dismissive of all female reporters.

Herein lies a huge problem in our society.

Why doesn't that bother all women?

Many women seem to have a hard time supporting other women, whether it's at work, at the gym, at a social function, wherever. Women often pick other women apart, rather than lift the women around them up.

Women have a hard enough time in this world, trying to look perfect and be perfect and act perfect, all while playing catch-up in a workplace and society that had been suppressive to them for generations.

So, wouldn't it make more sense for women to support each other as often as possible, and particularly in cases when the wagons really need to be circled?

I have long been convinced that this is part of the reason why women's sports aren't more successful.

It's hard enough to get men to support women's sports. But it can be just as tough to get women to support women's sports.

Why?

Why don't women want to support female athletes? I'm not sure, but many don't.

Better yet, what could be the reason so many women don't support women in general, in good times or in bad?

Women can be so tough on other women, like the women on Twitter with Rodrigue. I'm not sure of the psychology behind it, but I do know that it's a real problem.

I wish I could understand it. Better yet, I wish it would change.

pbabcock@dailyherald.com

Follow Patricia on Twitter: @babcockmcgraw

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