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A Letter to Cam Newton from a Woman in Sports Media

(Yasmin Quintana is a former Fox Sports Radio intern, and current college student in Los Angeles. We asked her for her thoughts on the latest comments from Cam Newton, this is what followed.)

I am a woman. I work in Sports. I love football.

For one second, let's ignore what Cam Newton actually said. The bigger problem, in my opinion, is the way this situation was handled by the general public, and the response it brought out of men on social media.

When I initially heard the interview with no outside perspective, I thought to myself, “Come on Cam, you have to be better than that.” I wasn't angry, but rather disappointed. I just thought Cam should know better by now, but I assumed this was just another slip-up or poor choice of words. 

The backlash that followed is what we need to focus on.

Many men came to the immediate defense of Cam Newton, claiming the comment was just small and insignificant. What Cam said opened up a portal and created a platform for all the overly-protective-of-football men to rush to his defense, and in turn, put down all women in this profession. 

Again, forget the comment itself.

It was the way men ran to the defense of something that I'm sure even Cam knew was wrong, and in doing so they made sure women were reminded of how they are viewed in the world of Sport. Whether intentional or not.

That comment unleashed a whole different world on the issue. It made it okay for men to try to argue with us on why we do not belong. 

But then again, who am I to tell you what you should think about this situation? You can probably be "surprised" that this female was able to string together sentences like this. After all, it's so shocking and unnatural that I like sports!

Well, I am a woman that has spent years studying the world of sports media so that I could go have an average shot at the job that many men think that I shouldn't have. I am furthering my education to hopefully master the craft that you men think doesn't come as naturally to me as it does to you. What I say might resonate with the women that are in an absolute uproar about this, as I am. 

I am a woman that is standing in the middle trying to figure out what the right way to go about this is. 

Am I going to be upset about it in a week? No.

Will it stand in the way of me watching football tonight? No. 

I love the sport of football, and men do not get to take that away from me. 

I fell in love with the fact that sports bring people together, that they give us all the chance to follow a team through the ups and down and have pride in something so much bigger. But here we are, again, in the midst of a mess and losing touch with what the point of the game was in the first place. 

Football has become that foggy memory in the background. 

It is a launching pad for personal agenda. 

It is no longer a game.

Players, coaches, owners, trainers, reporters, and even fans are all urging athletes to "Leave politics out of football” saying we should “leave race out of football” and just move on. 

So, can we leave gender inequality out of football?

Think about this for a second. Why is football for men and other things are for women?

Isn't this LITERALLY gender inequality?

"We do not need reform, we do not need praise, what we need is for everyone to go back to doing their jobs. Play the game, answer the questions like a man and move on."

Does that sound harsh to you? 

Well, that is what it is like to be a woman in the field.

Try doing your work, delivering on time, studying when you are off, having to get up, get ready, show up, be smart and do better than everyone else, to then put up with sexist comments and simply be told to move on, or better yet that it was a joke and that it was funny.

That's what we go through, every single day. But yet, there are strong women that still get up and still try day after day to prove their worth, working double for someone to come along and discredit it because it's not for women.

To some, it still may be a small comment and you'll laugh this off. But to others who have worked tirelessly year after year to gain credibility and respect, and one comment like that throws it all out the window, I feel for you right now. 

This comment was such an issue because this reporter has had the backbone to make this her job, put up with built-in sexism, and everyone decided that it was okay to laugh at it. 

He embarrassed her in front of her peers.

There may be plenty of arguments about how women do not play so they do not understand, but there are plenty of reporters and analysts that have never played a day in their life and they still get to give their opinions because they were born as a male, and it's normal for males to enjoy football.

Players express anger when the media paints a false picture of them, and I get it, there is plenty of stuff out there that should not be published. But when something like this happens I will not stand up for you. 

Women aren’t oblivious, we know that behind closed doors it continues every day. We know that locker room talk probably isn’t all about respecting women. But if you want to be painted as a heroic, respectful, successful athlete then you need to act like one.

You need to lead by example because there are so many people watching you.

With one stupid comment, Cam Newton turned the spotlight on this issue and reminded us all of the sexism that is very much still alive in the world of Football.

But I do not feel bad for Jourdan Rodrigue, because she deals with this all the time and she still gets up, she does her job, and she does it right.

She doesn't want me to feel bad for her. 

That is why I wrote this.