I honestly don't even know where to start with my reaction to Cam Newton's press conference yesterday. His comments about it being "funny" that a woman can talk about routes and even write about sports is enraging. I didn't write this post yesterday because I needed some time to process what I was feeling and after sleeping on it I still can't fully process what he said. In this day and age women are working in sports in record numbers, we have seen female coaches be hired in both the NBA and the NFL, recently there have been at least 9 women hired as Athletic Directors in Division I sports. Personally I work at a university where out of the senior staff half of us are women and in the Athletic Admin offices only our AD is male. So please Cam Newton tell me that I don't know sports and that it is funny for me to work in college athletics.
On the flip side though unfortunately his words are thought all the time and when a woman knows sports it is still quite strange for men. I know because I have personally had to deal with it quite a lot because of my passion for sports. Now I know I'm not an expert and I know that I have so much more to learn but I do know a lot. One story happened last year while I was still an intern, probably about a month before I started my position at SF State and it was during the Euro Cup. If you know me then you know how much I love the Azurri and how I root for them and want them to win all of the time. Well in this case they were playing and it was before we had to go to a big meeting with all of the advancement department and I was talking with my fellow intern and one of the coaches about the game. I started talking about how Italy is a good team but they do need to work on their defense better and that they need to give Buffon more defensive support because no matter how great he is, he can't do everything. I also discussed some of the players and brought back information regarding previous Euro Cup and World Cup teams. The coach just looked at me and was like wow you do really know what you are talking about in this really shocked tone.
So what are we to do when Cam Newton's comments are prevalent in the athletic world and he just said what probably many men are thinking. Now I appreciate all of the support that Jourdan Rodrigue has gotten and the conversation that it has started but this won't change and in a few days this will be forgotten because Cam Newton is a star player and he can do what ever he wants so long as he keeps winning. What we need is to make changes and to keep persevering in the athletic world. I know I am trying to do my part to change the minds of people and so are the thousands of other women that are working in various aspects in the athletic world. I don't know how to change peoples perceptions but I do know that I will keep doing what I do and keeping being a woman who loves sports and loves to write, talk and a myriad of other things about sports. Honestly that is all we can do at this time. I do hope that Cam will learn from this but I don't think he will, but one can only hope.
I hope you enjoyed this post and will keep following my love affair with sports.