Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera admitted that quarterback Cam Newton’s comment to a female reporter were a mistake, but he didn’t confirm whether he talked to his starter or not. Newton was heavily criticized for his sexist comment after telling Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue "it's funny to hear a female talk about routes” when she asked about Devin Funchess. According to Rivera, the two already had a conversation where the quarterback cleared the air with the reporter. Rivera refused to discuss the issue further as he wanted to talk about their game against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Rivera declined to answer when asked if he talked to or if he plans to talk to Newton about his remarks to the reporter. "I've pretty much have made my comments, guys. I just want to leave it at that,” said Rivera -- according to

Yogurt maker to stop working with Newton

After his comments, Dannon Oikos yogurt said it will not work with the quarterback, saying it was “shocked and disheartened at the behavior and comments” of the quarterback, which the company perceived as “sexist and disparaging to all women.” Dannon said its agreement with Newton has not been terminated but they will remove all advertisements with the quarterback in them. The controversy overshadowed Newton’s outstanding performance in their 33-30 win over the New England Patriots where he completed 22 of 29 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception.

He also ran for 44 yards and a score as the Panthers improved to 3-1.

Newton expressed regret over statement

In a statement, Panthers spokesperson Steven Drummond said the team spoke with both Rodrigue and Newton. Drummond said the pair had a conversation where he expressed regret for using those words. “We strive as a department to make the environment for media comfortable to everyone covering the team,” said Drummond.

The NFL, for its part, called Newton’s comments “plain wrong” and “disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league.” The NFL also stressed that Newton’s pronouncement does not reflect the thinking of the league.

Meanwhile, the Panthers signed former Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd as a short-term replacement for the injured Kurt Coleman, who suffered an MCL sprain in their win over the Patriots.

In his five seasons with the Bills, Byrd tallied 22 interceptions in 66 games. He signed a six-year, $56 million contract with the New Orleans Saints but was released in the offseason due to his disappointing play.