Observer reporter who covers Panthers apologizes for tweets

Jourdan Rodrigue
Jourdan Rodrigue

Jourdan Rodrigue, a Charlotte Observer reporter who covers the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, apologized Thursday for tweets that she sent in 2012 and 2013.

“I apologize for the offensive tweets from my Twitter account 4/5 years ago,” Rodrigue said in a Twitter statement. “There is no excuse for these tweets and the sentiment behind them. I am deeply sorry and apologize.”

In Rodrigue’s old tweets, which she made while in college, she made light of racist remarks made by others and retweeted a racial slur.

In December 2012, she tweeted: “My dad is being super racist as we pass through Navajo land.”

And in August 2013, she tweeted: “He’s the best. Racist jokes the whole drive home.”

In May 2013, Jourdan quoted a Twitter parody account: “The earth moves at 450+ mph that’s 10 times triller than NASCAR Dale Earnhart’s (sic) a b---- n----”

Carolina Panthers quarterback injects comment into his answer to Charlotte Observer's Jourdan Rodrigue about teammate Devin Funchess.

Observer Editor Sherry Chisenhall said, “The Twitter posts are regrettable and we wish they hadn’t happened. We don’t condone the posts or the messages they convey. We believe Jourdan is deeply sincere in her apology and regret about those tweets.”

Rodrigue, 25, entered the national spotlight Wednesday, after a press conference in which she asked Panthers quarterback Cam Newton a question about a receiver. Newton responded by saying “it’s funny to hear a female talk about (wide receiver) routes.”

That set off national criticism of Newton, with many calling his statement sexist. Yogurt maker Dannon, one of Newton’s sponsors, said Thursday that it’s splitting with the quarterback over the comments. Thursday night, Newton apologized on Twitter in a video.

Rodrigue’s tweets surfaced online Wednesday night.

Rodrigue came to the Observer to cover the Panthers in October 2016. She previously covered Penn State for the Centre Daily Times.

Cam Newton released an apology video on twitter after a statement he made towards observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue on Wednesday after practice.