Female reporter slams 'sexist' NFL superstar

Carolina Panthers NFL star Cam Newton has come under fire for a seemingly sexist reply directed at a female reporter.

When Newton fielded a question about wide receiver Devin Funchess, he gave a 35-second answer on the growth his Panthers teammate has made from last year to this NFL season.

But before Newton answered the question from Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue, the Panthers quarterback said it was "funny" to hear a "female" ask about routes.

Newton wasn't impressed. Image: Omnisport

The entire question from Rodrigue was: "I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well. Devin Funchess has seemed to really embrace the physicality of his routes and getting those extra yards. Does that give you a little bit of enjoyment to see him truck-sticking people?"

Before giving his answer, however, Newton said, "It's funny to hear a female talk about routes like that. It's funny."

Rodrigue was not amused, tweeting afterwards: "I don't think it's 'funny' to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job."

In response to another reporter's tweet about the exchange, Rodrigue added: "I spoke with him after and it was worse. I chose not to share, because I have an actual job to do today and one he will not keep me from."

Panthers spokesman Steven Drummond released a statement to NFL Media, saying he spoke with Rodrigue and Newton and the two had a conversation in which the 2015 MVP and three-time Pro Bowler "expressed regret for using those words."

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

The Association for Women in Sports Media said it was "very discouraged" by Newton's "disrespectful remarks and actions."

British tennis player Andy Murray was recently praised for his response to a 'casually sexist' question from a report.

Murray later stressed the importance of gender equality in tennis, saying the work ethic required to succeed is the same for both men and women.

Murray, who is seen as the voice of women's equality within the game for his previous views on various issues, was coached by Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo for two years from 2014.

The Scot, who won seven titles and reached two Australian Open finals with Mauresmo, said he had a better understanding of the struggles women face in the game because of the partnership.

"People often underestimate the amount of work that it takes to become a top tennis player," Murray said in comments published by BBC Magazine. "And that work ethic is the same whether you are a man or a woman.

"There are hours spent in the gym, on court, in physio, travelling, analysing matches and opponents, talking with your team, managing your body, and of course, making plenty of sacrifices," added the three-time grand slam champion.

"Anyone who has spent any time with any of the top women will know they make those same sacrifices and are as determined and committed to winning as any of the top men on the tour."

with AAP