Cealey's Thoughts: Women talking sports isn't 'funny'

KUSA - I find it fitting that my first time in studio here at 9NEWS is to talk about what I do for a living, because apparently people like Cam Newton think it's comical when women talk about sports.

Here's what happened:

"I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well," Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer asked Cam Newton during the Panthers' Wednesday press conference. "Devin Funchess has seemed to really embrace the physicality of these routes and getting those extra yards. Does that give you a little bit of an enjoyment to see him kind of truck people?"

Newton responded by saying "It's funny to hear a female talk about routes, like ... it's funny."

Cam eventually answered the question but I honestly didn't care for what he said after that.

You see, I've been a sports reporter for five years now, covering everything from log rolling to the NFL. But long before I decided to become a sports reporter at the age of 17, I was an athlete.

My sport was soccer but in the off-season, I had to choose something else to stay in shape. My choice?

Flag football.

It's a varsity (and JV) sport in my home state of Florida with more than 200 girls trying out every year.

We have a regular season, a post season, and yeah, we run routes just like the boys do.

We don't tackle and it's not 11-v-11, but it's legit. Trust me and my permanently disfigured finger.

But my football past isn't visible to someone like Cam Newton and what he saw today was a woman asking him a question. Regardless of it being a good question, her gender was something he had to point out.

To be honest, I'm not really mad at Cam -- I'm just disappointed.

He's been in the league since 2011 and he's been playing football for basically his entire life. Yet I guess he failed to realize the countless number of female sports reporters that surround him day-in and day-out.

Believe me when I say, these women did not get their jobs just because of their looks, but because of what's up here (head). It's also pretty darn tough to make it to a sports market like Charlotte without putting in a lot of hard work.

And I'll also let you in on a little industry secret -- most of the male reporters in that room have never ran a route in their life. But because they're a dude, they often get a pass.

His comment and comments like his are bothersome but by no means are they new. I've witnessed this and dealt with it firsthand my entire career as have most of the women in my profession.

So will he write an apology? I don't know.

And I don't know if an apology will soften the blow back he's rightfully taking on social media right now.

But what I do know is that women in sports journalism will not let some comment from a franchise quarterback bring them down.

They'll just continue to do their jobs. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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