Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been under a lot of scrutiny lately for the "routes" comment he made during a midweek press conference.
On Friday, during his weekly radio interview, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan chimed in on the situation.
"We definitely have a woman who talks about routes all the time," Shanahan said. "I think our players definitely listen to her so it definitely caught me off when I saw Cam's comments."
Shanahan is referring to Katie Sowers and her role as a 49ers seasonal offensive assistant. Sowers became the first female assistant in NFC history this season. Sowers is situated upstairs for game days as part of Shanahan’s staff. Last season, she was with Shanahan as a member of the Falcons' staff on an internship.
“She came in and worked with the receivers and did as good of a job as anyone I've had in the internship," Shanahan said of Sowers in August. "We loved having her around. She was eager to learn it, she has played professional football in a women's league in the United States for a while and she's passionate about it.
“Us spending a whole training camp with her, she did a great job and she ended up helping out in Atlanta in personnel throughout the year."
"I heard he [Newton] apologized last night, which is definitely needed," Shanahan said. "But that's definitely something that we don't look at it that way around here."
Indeed, Newton did. In a video apology posted to social media, the former NFL MVP said: "After careful thought, I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women. "To be honest, that was not my intentions. And if you are a person who took offense to what I said, I sincerely apologize to you.
"What I did was extremely unacceptable," Newton said. "I'm a father to two beautiful daughters and I try to instill in them that they can be anything that they want to be. The fact that during this process I have already lost sponsors and countless fans I realize that the joke is really on me. I have really learned a valuable lesson from this."