On Wednesday, Cam Newton made a sexist remark about a female sports reporter. On Thursday, he lost a sponsor because of it, as Dannon yogurt parted ways with the Carolina quarterback.
Newton has not apologized for his comments, but perhaps he should.
As long as he means it.
“I have a different view of apologies than perhaps many other people,” CBS Sports Network NFL analyst Amy Trask said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “If you’re going to apologize to someone for something, it needs to be because you really and truly are sorry and perceive and believe that you did something that warrants an apology. If I ever do something to offend (someone), I’m going to pick up the phone or find you in person and I’m going to apologize to you. I’m not going to do it on social media. I’m not going to do it in a press release. He shouldn’t apologize unless he believes an apology is warranted, and if he does it, it should be sincere and direct – not for publicity.”
Trask, a former Raiders CEO, was the first female executive in NFL history. She did not find Newton’s comment amusing, but she also doesn’t think he’s a bad person because of it.
“My understanding is this is a good human being who does tremendous, tremendous things in the community and for kids and for all sorts of community groups,” Trask said. “I want to acknowledge that because we have this tendency to want to paint things with a broad brush, and when someone says something they shouldn’t – and this is absolutely something he should not have said – we want to castigate them as sort of a bad person, and I don’t believe that’s the case with Cam. It was a really injudicious comment. I don’t know if he meant it to be funny – in which case, you might want to hold off on the humor because it wasn’t funny – or if he meant it sincerely. I don’t know the motive behind the comment. I don’t know the background.”
Trask, the author of You Negotiate Like a Girl: Reflections on a Career in the National Football League, was also asked about her NFL career. She entered the league in the early 1980s and was the recipient of comments that were, well, not politically correct.
“It wasn’t women in the NFL; it was woman in the NFL,” Trask said, referring to herself. “That’s changed over the years, and now there’s sensational women doing really terrific jobs for teams all around the league. But I never spent a moment thinking about it for really two reasons: If other people wanted to waste their time, their energy, their efforts thinking about my gender, well, then go ahead. Waste your time because I’m not going to waste my time thinking about it. So advantage me. And No. 2, it always struck me as very sort of nuts for me to want to walk into a meeting thinking about my gender. If I hope and I expect that the people in that room are not going to be thinking about my gender, then what the heck am I doing spending any time thinking about my gender? I did my job.
“People ask me all the time, ‘Were you tested because you were a woman?’” Trask continued. “I don’t know. Maybe I was. Let’s say I was tested because I was a woman. People are tested all the time for different reasons, and what’s the best thing to do when you’re tested? Pass the damn test. That’s where I spent my energy. I tried to pass the test.”