Cam Newton has been criticised after appearing to offer a sexist response to a female reporter's question on tactics.
The NFL quarterback, who plays for the Carolina Panthers, was asked about his relationship with wide receiver Devin Funchess during a press conference on Wednesday evening.
"Devin Funchess has seemed to really embrace the physicality of his routes. Does that give you a bit of an extra enjoyment to know you can trust people out there?" asked Jourdan Rodrigue, a female reporter for the Charlotte Observer.
"It's funny to hear a female talk about routes," Newton chuckled.
"It's funny," Newton repeated before going on to answer Rodrigue's question.
Here's the video of Cam Newton saying "it's funny to hear a female talk about routes" pic.twitter.com/hd9Kg4CCeu
— Carlin & Reese (@CarlinReeseWIP) October 4, 2017
"I don't think it's "funny" to be a female and talk about routes. I think it's my job," Rodrigue tweeted following the end of the press conference.
Newton has since "expressed his regret" over the incident, according to a statement from Panthers spokesman, Steven Drummond.
"This afternoon, I did my job as an NFL beat writer and asked Cam Newton a question about one of his receivers.
"I was dismayed by his response, which not only belittled me but countless other women before me and beside me who work in similar jobs," Rodrigue said in a statement following the press conference.
"I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologize for his comments."
Newton's comments sparked a backlash on social media.
Brutal, sexist answer from Cam Newton in response to good question from female reporter. And the body language was just as bad. https://t.co/NEgvTd6sVh
— RandBall (@RandBall) October 4, 2017
Followed @JourdanRodrigue since she was covering PSU football, great writer and reporter, she doesn't need your validation and she damn sure doesn't need Cam Newton's
— Joey Gulino (@JGulinoYahoo) October 4, 2017
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy called Newton's comments were "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 was one of many NFL players to take part in a league-wide protest against Donald Trump's comments suggesting team owners should sack players if they refuse to stand for the national anthem.