Cam Newton issues video apology for response to female reporter

Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images (CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- On Thursday night, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton put out a video on his Facebook apologizing for comments he made to a female beat reporter in a press conference on Wednesday.

Newton said his choice of words were "extremely degrading and disrespectful" to Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer. Rodrigue asked Newton a question about wide receiver Devin Funchess' route running, which caused Newton to laugh and say "It's funny to hear a female talk about routes."

Rodrigue confronted Newton about the comments after the press conference, but he did not apologize. Panthers' head coach Ron Rivera said his quarterback "made a mistake" with his conduct. In the video, Newton apologized to anyone he said he may have offended with his words, but did not address Rodrigue by name.

The video comes on the same day that Dannon Oikos Yogurt said they would pull Newton's advertisements and no longer use the quarterback in commercials as a result of the comments.

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Scoreboard roundup -- 10/5/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --    Here are the scores from yesterday's sports events:

Houston 8, Boston 2
Cleveland 4,  N.Y. Yankees 0

Boston 4, Nashville 3
Montreal 3,  Buffalo 2; SO
Colorado  4, N.Y. Rangers 2
Washington 5; Ottawa 4; SO
Detroit 4, Minnesota 2
Chicago 10, Pittsburgh 1
Anaheim 5, Arizona 4
L.A. Kings 2, Philadelphia 0

(24) NC State 39,  (17) Louisville   25

New England 19, Tampa Bay 14

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Dannon withdraws Cam Newton sponsorship after sexist comment to female reporter

Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Carolina Pathers quarterback Cam Newton is facing backlash after sexist comments made to a female beat reporter earlier this week.

The 2015 NFL MVP responded to a question about wide receiver Devin Funchess' physical route-running ability by saying that "it's funny to hear a female talk about routes."

Now, Dannon, maker of the Oikos yogurt brand, has announced that Newton will no longer work with the brand. Michael Neuwirth, Dannon spokesperson, said the company was "shocked and disheartened at the behavior and comments."

"It is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to fostering equality and inclusion in every workplace. It's simply not okay to belittle anyone based on gender. We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him," Neuwirth added.

Newton's marketing agent told ESPN that Dannon did not sever its active endorsement deal with Newton, and that he believes the company doesn't have grounds to do so.

Newton also has a sponsorship deal with Gatorade. That company released a statement Thursday calling the remarks "objectionable and disrespectful to all women."

"Gatorade fully supports women who compete in, report on, coach for, or play any role in sport - on or off the field."

Newton is also sponsored by Under Armour, Buick and Beat by Dre. None of those companies have issued a statement regarding Newton's comments.

The reporter, Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer, said in a statement that Newton did not apologize for his remarks. Panthers director of communications Steven Drummond said Wednesday that Newton and Rodrigue had spoken, and that Newton "expressed regret for using those words."

The league called Newton's comments "just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists."

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Kobe Bryant says he would kneel during national anthem if he were still playing

Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant would choose to kneel during the national anthem, if he were still active, Bryant has said.

Appearing on The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast, Bryant was asked how he would handle the anthem during a rapid-fire segment. The five-time NBA champion responded simply "kneel."

The question comes after President Donald Trump criticized NFL players for choosing to kneel in protest of injustice in the United States.

Bryant was also asked what he would say to the commander in chief, if he could speak directly to him right now. "Focus on serving, not leading," Bryant said.

The Lakers have decided to lock arms during the national anthem, something they have done for their first three preseason games. "We are in this together," head coach Luke Walton said. "I think they chose to show that we are united in this and that obviously they have a ton of respect...well, I will let them speak for themselves, but I have a ton of respect for the country, the flag, the military."

Bryant, an 18-time All-Star in 20 seasons with the Lakers, will have both of his jersey numbers (8 and 24) retired at halftime of the team's December 18 game against the Golden State Warriors.

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Panthers quarterback Cam Newton laughs at reporter: 'It's funny to hear a female talk about routes'

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton laughed at a question from a female reporter Wednesday, noting that it was "funny" to hear a woman pose it.

At a press conference earlier Wednesday, Charlotte Observer sportswriter Jourdan Rodrigue asked Newton about his teammate's routes, eliciting a smile from the NFL player.

"It's funny to hear a female talk about routes," he said, before answering.

"I don't think it's 'funny' to be female and talk about routes," she responded on Twitter. "I think it's my job."

After video footage of Newton's comments went viral, critics took aim at the NFL player on social media. The Association for Women in Sports Media, a nonprofit to support women who work in sports journalism, also issued a statement slamming Newton's words.

"AWSM is very discouraged by Cam Newton's disrespectful remarks and actions directed to a female reporter," the organization's statement read. "As a watchdog group, AWSM demands fair treatment and positive workplace environments for women working in sports media."

Panthers director of communications Steven Drummond, who did not immediately comment when contacted by ABC News, told ESPN in a statement that Newton and Rodrigue "had a conversation where he expressed regret for using those words."

Rodrigue, however, tweeted that she had another conversation with Newton afterward "and it was worse."

"We strive as a department to make the environment for media comfortable for everyone covering the team," Drummond added.

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Scoreboard roundup -- 10/4/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Here are the scores from yesterday's sports events:

Arizona 11, Colorado 8

Toronto 7, Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 4; OT
Edmonton 3, Calgary 0
Philadelphia 5, San Jose 3

Minnesota 85 , L.A. Sparks 76

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'Do not let anyone make you see limits in life:' Q&A with the 1st female NFL coach

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK)-- Jen Welter, who made NFL history in 2015, when she became the league's first female coach, answered questions about what it was like to break the glass ceiling in a male-dominated sport, saying she would tell her younger self to "not let anyone make you see limits in life."

"It was a sport I had loved my whole life," Welter, a former coach of the Arizona Cardinals, said of football on "Good Morning America" Wednesday. "But I didn't have the opportunity to play, so when I made that first team, the promise I made is that I would step up to every challenge, no matter what it was."

Welter who has written about her experiences in her new memoir, "Play Big: Lessons in Being Limitless From the First Woman to Coach in the NFL," opens up about how she got into football and shares some of her top advice for girls in sports in an interview with ABC News.

"Why or how you chose football over other sports?
Growing up in a small town in Florida, everyone was obsessed with football, including me. I loved the game but never thought of it as something I could do myself. In college, I found rugby. I loved it, and I was pretty good. Through rugby friends, I started playing flag football on the weekends and I got a call to try out for the Mass Mutiny women’s team. I quit my job to train full-time for the tryouts; put all of my stuff in storage, moved out of my apartment. I made the team and I was hooked. There was no turning back from that point.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned during your time in the NFL?
Just how mental the game really is at that level. I know it might sound funny coming from someone who has a Ph.D., because trust me, I can get mental. However, the truth is at that level, all the players are physically capable of succeeding. The differentiation comes through their football IQ, practice and study mentality, and their mindsets. Most people envision football training to be all physical practice. However, practice times are actually regulated by the league and the majority of the day is spent in the film room. Football truly is full contact chess.

What is your pep talk to players, and to yourself?
The greatest gift a coach can give a player is to make him or her better, in the game on the field and the game of life. And to truly help someone, you have to know him or her, as a player and a person, then you tap into that personal quest for greatness, within the collective goal. For myself, when I am scared and in doubt, I remind myself that I am playing for something bigger than myself. We generally say, football, family, and faith all those things are bigger than any one individual.

"What advice would you give to your 13-year-old self?
Keep your wings, and do not let anyone make you see limits in life. My first love was tennis, and I was training to go pro. But I’m only 5-foot-2, and my coach told me I’d never be at the top of the game. Hearing that I could never be at the top just killed the fire in me, and I didn’t want to play anymore. So I’d tell myself: Don’t give up. That coach didn’t know what I was capable of. My size might’ve put me at a disadvantage, might’ve meant I had to work harder. But there was no way he could say for sure that I’d never be at the top of the game. I’m sure he would’ve said that I could never coach in the NFL, too! No one should have the power to steal your dreams.

What’s your advice to girls in sports?

Play your heart out. Enjoy every minute and compete to your greatest potential. Play as hard as you can. If you’re playing against boys, try not to take the trash talk personally. A boy is going to be upset if he gets tackled by a girl, or dunked on, or whatever. It’s not your problem. Go out there and show everyone what you can do, but most of all, play for yourself. Don’t worry too much about what opportunities you might or might not have in the future. Opportunities that you never could imagine might present themselves. They did for me. And if you can, try to get your parents to take you to women’s sporting events -- and bring your brothers. The games are great, you’ll be totally pumped, and you’ll be helping grown women like me get paid to compete in the sports we love, just like professional male athletes do. Then when you get older and want to go pro, young women will do the same for you.

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NBA All-Star Game format gets revamped

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK)-- There will be a new format at this season's NBA All-Star Game. Two captains will pick players for their teams, without regard to the conference they play in.

The move comes after several years of discussion between the league and the players association

There will still be twelve players selected from each conference. Five players from each conference will be chosen as starters with fans accounting for 50 percent of the vote. Seven reserves will be picked by each conferences head coaches.

The players with the two highest votes from fans will be the captains and they will get to select their team.

The Eastern and Western Conference coaches with the best record two weeks before the game will be the head coach. Steve Kerr of the Warriors and Brad Stevens of the Celtics are ineligible because they coached last year.

The All-Star Game will be held on February 18 in Los Angeles.

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OJ Simpson spotted golfing, rebuffing paparazzi after prison release VEGAS) -- Hours after O.J. Simpson was released from a Nevada prison on Sunday, he was greeted by paparazzi at a local gas station.

In video obtained by ABC News, Simpson can be heard saying to the paparazzi, "I'm in the car for that last five hours so how would I know how it feels to be out."

He went on, "I've been in nowhere, USA, for the last nine years doing nothing. Nothing has changed in my life. I mean, what do you expect? Please, can I have a break here?"

The 70-year-old was also photographed at a Las Vegas home where he is staying temporarily. In one photo, Simpson is seen practicing his putting. Another shows him poolside with his daughter, Arnelle.

Simpson served nearly 10 years of his 33-year sentence at Lovelock Correctional Facility in Nevada. The former NFL player quietly walked out of Lovelock at 12:08 a.m. local time Sunday, according to the Nevada Department of Corrections.

Brooke Keast, a spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Corrections, said Simpson was upbeat and happy as he left. Keast said he didn't want his picture taken, and that he wanted the release to be quiet, without media attention.

Simpson, who said he wants to move to Florida, is not allowed to leave Nevada without advanced approval. He plans to remain in the Las Vegas area for the foreseeable future.

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Scoreboard roundup -- 10/03/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from yesterday's sports events:
Final  N-Y Yankees   8  Minnesota   4

Final  Minnesota    3  Atlanta    2

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