Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton leaves the field after their loss against the Washington Football Team during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. Credit: Jacob Kupferman / AP

C’mon, Cam Newton.

Not again.

Former Carolina Panther quarterback Cam Newton relayed some extremely outdated views on women in a just-released podcast episode, complaining about females who “can’t cook” and who “don’t know when to be quiet.”

In an interview on the “Million Dollaz Worth of Game” video podcast, Newton was speaking about what he believes a woman should be.

Said Newton: “Now a woman, for me, is handling your own but knowing how to cater to a man’s needs. Right? And I think a lot of times when you get that aesthetic of like ‘I’m a boss b——, I’m this, I’m that.’ No, baby! But you can’t cook. You don’t know when to be quiet. You don’t know how to allow a man to lead.”

No, Cam, it’s you that don’t know when to be quiet.

And if Newton saying something sexist about women sounds vaguely familiar to you, it should.

In 2017, while in the seventh season of his initial nine-year run as the Panther quarterback, Newton belittled one of my colleagues, Jourdan Rodrigue, after she asked him a perfectly legitimate, football-related question about passing routes.

“It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes,” Newton said. He laughed to himself and then repeated: “It’s funny.”

In a roomful of 30 media members, it didn’t seem a bit funny. Newton’s comment was greeted with silence.

Newton eventually answered the question, but that day he had given us a glimpse of his beliefs. The NFL told The Observer then through a spokesman: “The 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.”

Newton would later say “my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women,” note that he had already lost sponsors and fans and conclude that “the joke is really on me.”

“I’ve learned a valuable lesson from this,” he said in a later video apology.

But did he? Because now we have another example of Newton’s sexist views, more than four years later.

It shouldn’t be a surprise. As the poet Maya Angelou once said: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

And yet it did surprise me because I’ve been around Newton for a decade and know he’s a smart man. I didn’t think he’d make the same public mistake twice, especially when he’s looking for a job right now as a free-agent quarterback.

He’s looking for a job because after the initial “I’m back” frenzy in the Carolinas, Cam Newton 2.0 went quite poorly for the Panthers in 2021. He went 0-5 as a starter. He got benched for Sam Darnold, for gosh sakes. Now Newton is 32 years old, with an iffy arm and a body that has taken thousands of hits over the years.

So that’s a man who should be keeping his head down and probably not granting interviews at all, much less a freewheeling one like this conversation. The comment will likely hurt his job prospects. (Putting the comments aside, the Panthers shouldn’t sign him regardless.).

The podcast episode wasn’t all bad. Newton described his own upbringing in Georgia in loving terms.

“I had a perfect example of what a man was in my life by my father,” Newton said, speaking of his father Cecil Newton, who is a pastor and remains an enormous influence in his son’s life. “My parents have been together for 36-37 years now, and it’s a beautiful thing. I grew up in a three-parent household, my mom, my father and my grandmother.”

But the only thing anyone is going to remember from this podcast, ultimately, is what Newton said about women. It sounded straight out of 1952 rather than 2022: Women should be subservient, cook the meals and be quiet. The man needs to lead the household.

Uh, no. That’s not how it works. I have a 14-year-old daughter, and we’re sure not teaching her that. She has a voice, and she’s damn sure going to use it if she wants to.

You may be curious about what happened to Rodrigue, who no longer works for The Observer. She still covers the NFL, but now for The Athletic. In fact, she moved to Los Angeles and covered the L.A. Rams team that just won the Super Bowl. She’s won a bunch of awards. She’s doing great, and she can still talk about routes and all the other intricacies of football with the best of journalists.

As for Newton, he’s a complicated person, and that’s worth pointing out in the wake of this mistake. He’s charismatic, energetic and remarkable around kids. In Charlotte, he has done all sorts of good in the community. And he was the best quarterback the Panthers ever employed. One day he’ll be in the team’s Hall of Honor, as well he should be.

But, in terms of women, Newton is a slow learner. What he said to Rodrigue, and the resulting blowback, apparently taught the quarterback nothing.

As I wrote in my original column in 2017 about that incident, Rodrigue knew back then exactly what she was talking about.

Cam Newton, though, had no idea.

Four years later, he still doesn’t.

Story by Scott Fowler, The Charlotte Observer