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Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 12:15 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An NFL spokesman said that comments made by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in response to a female reporter’s question during a Wednesday news conference were “just plain wrong” and “disrespectful.”
>> Read more trending news
When Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked Newton about wide receiver Devin Funchess' route running, Newton smiled and said, "It's funny to hear a female talk about routes. It's funny."
After those comments, the quarterback proceeded to answer Rodrigue's question.
Carolina spokesman Steven Drummond said in a statement to The Associated Press that Newton had a conversation with Rodrigue after the news conference ended and expressed regret for his remarks.
Rodrigue released a statement through The Charlotte Observer via email saying that Newton did not apologize when they spoke after the news conference.
She said she "was dismayed by his response, which not only belittled me but countless other women before me and beside me who work in similar jobs. I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologize for his comments."
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."
Drummond said the Panthers "strive as a department to make the environment for media comfortable for everyone covering the team."
Mike Persinger, the executive sports editor of The Charlotte Observer, said Newton's comments were "unfortunate and out of line."
"The question Jourdan asked during the news conference was a good one, like countless other questions about football strategy and nuance she has asked in the course of doing her job," Persinger said.
Rodrigue joined The Charlotte Observer as a Panthers beat reporter last year.
She said on Twitter : "I don't think it's 'funny' to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job."
I don't think it's "funny" to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) October 4, 2017
The Association for Women in Sports Media said in a statement that it "is very discouraged by Cam Newton's disrespectful remarks and actions directed to a female reporter during today's Carolina Panthers media conference. As a watchdog group, AWSM demands fair treatment and positive workplace environments for women working in sports media."
The Pro Football Writers of America also condemned Newton's comments, saying in a statement that he "crossed the line."
The Panthers (3-1) visit the Detroit Lions (3-1) on Sunday.
To say that in response to a legitimate question for @JourdanRodrigue is so backwards and disrespectful to her and to women— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) October 4, 2017
Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 10:10 AM
— I’m pretty sure I stunned a friend last week when I told him I had expected the Reds to be around a .500 team this season.
He’s an Indians fan and a casual one at that, but it still seemed unimaginable this could have been a respectable team now given the way things started, right?
Well, they haven’t lost since, so I guess it’s nice not to seem totally crazy.
>>RELATED: Reds rally to win Sunday, sweep Cubs
One good week does not a season make, but it sure beats the alternative.
Now, why did I think the 2018 Reds would be around a .500 team?
Well, they had shown they could hit, had a handful of starting pitching prospects finish last season strong and made some additions to the bullpen that looked smart.
Of course it was easy to forget all those things as nothing went right during the first month or so of the season.
The starters weren’t good most of the time, the bullpen had a few blowups and worst of all they couldn’t hit.
But they when the regulars are in there — including Eugenio Suarez and Scott Schebler, who were both hurt in April — and Joey Votto isn’t slumping, the offense is a lot better.
>>PHOTOS: Reds beat Cubs 8-6
Yes, it turns out this team can score as expected even though Adam Duvall and Billy Hamilton still are hitting in the low .200s and having a hard time getting on base.
The bullpen actually is good — better than expected despite one of last year’s stalwarts (Wandy Peralta) struggling.
The rotation is still hit or miss at best, which assures there will be no miracle run to relevance between now and October.
However, the (admittedly modest) goals from the start of the season may be back on the table if they can avoid chasing this winning streak with another winless week.
» PROSPECT WATCH: How the top Reds minor leaguers are doing
And what are those goals?
To sum things up: The 2018 Reds can still make the 2019 Reds look like a team that will be worth following, which is all we ever wanted, wasn’t it?
Of course not all the news from the weekend was good.
Two other Reds notes to start the week:
Top prospect Nick Senzel’s development is halted — again — after he tore a finger ligament.
This is not the end of the world, but it means he won’t be getting his feet wet in the majors this season.
That’s just as well because they don’t have anywhere to put him — yet.
After a second battle with vertigo in less than a year, Senzel had been red hot at Triple-A Louisville, so I would say there is no doubt he’s ready for a call-up when healthy.
There are a few different scenarios for getting him into the lineup.
Not everyone who’s starting now — Schebler, Duvall, Scooter Gennett — is going to be here in 2019, but who goes will determine where Senzel comes up.
In better prospect news, Hunter Greene had another strong start Saturday for the slumping Dayton Dragons.
He pitched into the seventh inning for the first time, though he took the loss because he allowed three runs and that is too many for the Dragons to win right now.
Greene was efficient with no walks and 62 of his 87 pitches were strikes. He relied on the fastball but also used his slider at times as an out pitch. He lowered his ERA to 5.13 and has a 2.37 ERA over his last six starts.
“I feel like every outing I’ve been getting better,” Greene said. “I’ve go to continue to learn and get better for sure and stay healthy and to continue to execute pitches.”
Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 9:53 AM
BEAVER DAM, Wis. — Sprint car racer Jason Johnson died Sunday from injuries suffered after a crash at Saturday night’s World of Outlaws race at Beaver Dam Raceway, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. He was 41.
Johnson crashed on the 18th lap of the race at the Wisconsin track. Johnson, of Eunice, Louisiana, was racing for the lead in the dirt-track race with eventual winner Daryn Pitman when his car flipped and crashed through the billboards near Turn 3, the Journal-Sentinel reported.
With heavy hearts, we inform you of the passing of Jason Johnson. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Please send prayers and respect their privacy. https://t.co/VLxy5oUjvE— World of Outlaws (@WorldofOutlaws) June 24, 2018
Johnson was airlifted to a hospital in Summit, Wisconsin, where he died, the newspaper reported.
Johnson debuted in the World of Outlaws series in 1998 and began racing full time on the circuit in 2015, according to Bleacher Report.
He was the league's Rookie of the Year in 2015. Johnson had 12 victories on the circuit, including two this year, Bleacher Report said.
Johnson is second driver in four years to die from injuries suffered in a sprint car crash at Beaver Dam Raceway. Scott Semmelmann was killed in an accident in practice at an Interstate Racing Association in September 2014, the Journal-Sentinel reported.
Published: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 10:36 AM
— NASCAR pit reporter Wendy Venturini suffered a skull fracture and concussion Saturday after she was hit by a car while jogging in Novato, California, according to a news release from Venturini Racing.
Venturini, 39, was in California to cover Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Cup race in Sonoma. She will remain in the hospital for several days, the news release said.
“She’s completely coherent and conversational, and I have talked to her on two occasions today," said Doug Rice, president and general manager of Performance Racing Network. "They told her she would have a really good headache for a couple of days.”
Published: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 4:01 PM
CINCINNATI — Jesse Winker bounced as he rounded third base, hopping high into the air before slapping hands with third-base coach Billy Hatcher.
“I was pretty happy,” Winker said.
Winker did come back down to earth after his pinch-hit, three-run home run in the seventh inning. The Cincinnati Reds, however, continue to soar. Their 8-6 victory against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday at Great American Ball Park gave them a season-high seven victories in a row and 10 wins in their last 12 games.
Winker’s home run came in a seven-run seventh inning as the Reds rallied from a 6-1 deficit to sweep four games from the Cubs in Cincinnati for the first time since April 1983. None of the current Reds were born when that sweep occurred. Joey Votto was born five months later.
“We were focused on today’s game,” interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “It wasn’t about a sweep. It’s about trying to just get better and better and win some ballgames. We just really have put a nice string of games together. These other games we were up and really played flawless. Today we were down and kept pushing and came back and got it.”
» PHOTOS: Reds beat Cubs 8-6
While the Reds (32-45) still sit in last place in the National League Central Division, four games back of the Pittsburgh Pirates, they are making up ground fast. They trailed Pittsburgh by 9½ games on June 9. The Reds trailed first-place Milwaukee by 17½ games on June 9 and are now 13½ games back.
“We know what we can do as a team,” Winker said. “We can all play this game. It’s fun to win. But I don’t think anybody’s surprised by what we’re doing. If you look around, we’re all kind of acting pretty normal right now. It’s what we expect to do. It’s cool coming to the field expecting to win. It’s a very good feeling. Right now, we’re on a good wave, and we’re going to ride the wave.”
» RELATED: Reds set sights on escaping basement
The Reds completed their first perfect homestand of at least six games since May 2008. In the last seven games, Reds batters are hitting .322 with 14 home runs.
The Reds even became the first team since 2007 to get home runs from pitchers on back-to-back days. One day after Anthony DeSclafani hit a grand slam in an 11-2 victory, Michael Lorenzen hit a solo home run with the Reds trailing 5-0 in the fifth.
“You just feel the momentum in here,” Lorenzen said. “A game like today, it just feels like we’re not meant to lose.”
Lorenzen and Winker hit pinch-hit home runs, making Riggleman look good.
“With Lorenzen, it’s a matter of not using a bench player with nobody on base,” Riggleman said. “If we had somebody on base, we would have had somebody else hitting. With Wink, he’s a great option to have off the bench. He’s done great things coming off the bench.”