Rivera: Newton’s Apology ‘Something That Needed To Be Said’

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2017, file photo, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton speaks to the media following an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, in Foxborough, Mass. Dannon, the maker of Oikos yogurt, is cutting ties with spokesman Cam Newton following what the company perceives as “sexist” comments the Carolina quarterback made to a female reporter. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — 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.”

“I think it was well said and well put,” Rivera said Friday. “I think it was well said and well put. I just it something we can move forward .. and start again. It’s a tough set of circumstances and hopefully this can settle things so we can go forward.”

Newton made his remarks during a news conference 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.”

He hasn’t directly apologized to Rodrigue.

The NFL had issued a statement Wednesday night calling Newton’s comments at the news conference “just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalist who cover the league.”

Newton issued his apology more than 24 hours after making his remarks, during which time he lost an endorsement deal when Dannon severed ties with him.

“After careful thought, I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women,” the Panthers quarterback said. “To be honest, that was not my intentions. And if you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you.”

In the video, Newton said he’s a man who strives to be a positive role model in the community and who tries to use his platform to inspire others.

He also said he takes ownership to everything that comes with that.

“What I did was extremely unacceptable,” Newton said. “I’m a father to two beautiful daughters and I try to instill in them that they can be anything that they want to be. The fact that during this process I have already lost sponsors and countless fans I realize that the joke is really on me. I have really learned a valuable lesson from this.”

Newton also took time to address young people, cautioning them not to do as he did.

“Don’t be like me,” Newton said. “Be better than me. To the reporters, to the journalists, to the moms, the super moms, the daughters, the sisters all around the world I sincerely apologize and hope that you can find the kindness in your heart to forgive me. Thank you.”

Dannon, who makes Oikos yogurt, cut ties with Newton as its spokesman. However, the other companies who have endorsements deals with Newton such as Gatorade, Under Armour and Beats by Dre did not.

The Panthers (3-1) visit the Detroit Lions (3-1) on Sunday. Rivera said Carolina will be without safeties Kurt Coleman and Demetrious Cox and center Ryan Kalil. However, expects defensive ends Julius Peppers and Mario Addison and left tackle Matt Kalil to play.

By STEVE REED - Oct 6 2:00 PM EDT AP

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