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Varner defends Newton, gets criticized himself

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Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was criticized on Wednesday for dismissing a reporter’s question because she was female.

“Cam, I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well. Devin Funchess has seemed to really embrace the physicality of his routes and getting those extra yards. Does that give you a little bit of enjoyment to see him kind of truck-sticking people out there?” Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked Newton.

“It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes, like…” Newton said. “It’s funny.”

You can view the exchange below:

While many believed Newton’s response to be overtly sexist, former East Carolina golfer and Carolina Panthers fan Harold Varner III felt criticism of Newton was excessive.

Some responders to Varner’s initial tweet agreed with him, citing a sensitive society; others did not.

Varner is a noted Newton fan, wearing his jersey while playing the par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale in 2016 and dabbing – Newton’s signature celebratory move that season – on occasion after making birdies.

He followed up that initial tweet with a secondary one:

And social media response was similar