Yogurt-maker Dannon cut ties with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on Thursday, a day after Newton said “it’s funny to hear a female talk about routes” in a news conference.
Newton had served as a spokesperson for Dannon’s Oikos line of Greek yogurt since 2015, appearing in television ads among other marketing efforts on behalf of the brand. While Newton will be paid through the length of the deal, he will no longer appear in ads promoting Oikos, Dannon spokesperson Michael Neuwirth confirmed to USA TODAY Sports via email.
“We are shocked and disheartened at the behavior and comments of Cam Newton towards Jourdan Rodrigue, which we perceive as sexist and disparaging to all women,” Neuwirth, senior director of external communications for Dannon, said in a statement. “It is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to fostering equality and inclusion in every workplace. It’s simply not OK to belittle anyone based on gender. We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him.”
Jourdan Rodrigue, a Panthers beat reporter for The Charlotte Observer, asked Newton about a receiver’s ability to get open down the field. Newton’s response — which included laughter — was widely criticized as several sports news media organizations, the NFL and others denounced his response.
USA TODAY Sports contacted Newton’s other sponsors — including Under Armour and Gatorade.
Under Armour spokesperson Tara Moore said in a text message that the company did not have an immediate comment. None of the other companies responded to inquiries from USA TODAY Sports on Thursday.
Forbes estimated in June that Newton takes in about $13 million a year in endorsements, roughly equal to his NFL salary. Only New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees ($14 million) takes in more endorsement money among NFL players, according to Forbes.
SOURCE: USA Today – A.J. Perez