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Cam Newton's comments show work still needs to be done on equality for all

Lindsey Thiry, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Football

LOS ANGELES -- I stood on the court at the WNBA Finals, a day after the Los Angeles Sparks chose to remain in the locker room for the playing of the national anthem, waiting to talk to Candace Parker.

Parker, I heard, was one of the players who wanted to stand during the anthem. But the team couldn't reach a consensus -- sit, stand, lock arms or kneel -- so they remained in the locker room.

I asked Parker her opinion on the issue.

The question was followed by a few moments of silence, a pause that grew uncomfortable -- a white woman, asking a black woman, about equality, injustices, and her stance on a very personal issue -- an issue that I will never fully understand.

Parker said she wanted to stand to honor America, a place she loves.

Then she paused again, searching for words.

Some people are talking out both sides of their mouth, Parker said. Everyone wants equality, but only on their terms.

As I sat inside the Los Angeles Rams media room Wednesday, my second season covering the NFL after six years covering college football, MLB, the NBA, and just about every sport in between, video of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton came across my social media feed.

"It's funny to hear a female talk about routes," Newton said, responding to a question from Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue. Newton smirked, chuckled and rolled his head back. "It's funny," he said again, before answering the question.

Newton's expression was worth a thousand words, but here are three: Patronizing, disrespectful and disgusting.

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