The Carolina Panthers quarterback took to Twitter on Thursday to apologize for the "degrading and disrespectful" word choices he made the previous day when speaking to Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue.
"After careful thought, I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women," Newton said. "And to be honest, that was not my intention. If you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you."
"I'm a man who tries to be a positive role model in my community and tries to use my platform to inspire others," he continued. "And I take ownership to everything that comes with that. And what I did was extremely unacceptable."
Noting that he is a father of two daughters, Newton added, "At their age, I try to instill in them that they can do and be anything that they want to be."
"The fact that, during this process I've already lost sponsors and countless fans, I realized that the joke is really on me. And I've learned a valuable lesson from this," the athlete expressed. "To the young people who see this, I hope that you learn something from this as well. Don't be like me, be better than me. To the reporters, to the journalists, to the moms -- super moms -- to the daughters, the sisters and the women all around the world, I sincerely apologize and hope that you can find the kindness of your heart to forgive me. Thank you."
The incident happened when Rodrigue, who covers Newton's team for the Observer, asked the quarterback about Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess' route running. The football player replied, "it's funny to hear a female talk about routes. It's funny," and then proceeded to answer her question.
Following the backlash, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Wednesday night in a statement that Newton's comments "are just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league. They do not reflect the thinking of the league."