Recent riots and looting over the death of Keith Lamont Scott in a police-involved shooting have the NFL and Carolina Panthers staff watching the situation closely.
As of today, the NFL plans to hold the game against the Minnesota Vikings as planned in Bank of America stadium in Charlotte.
Security is a huge concern as local police are using every available man to maintain the peace in uptown Charlotte. The drain on resources leaves little to help secure the NFL stadium.
The Panthers want to play the game on Sunday and feel that it could actually help the city heal after Wednesday night’s escalation to violence and looting.
“I think it would be good for the city,” coach Ron Rivera said on Thursday.
The riots moved within blocks of the stadium Wednesday leading to speculation that the NFL might postpone or move the game as they did after the Baltimore riots.
The Carolina Panthers tried to quiet the rumors with a statement indicating that they intended to play on Sunday.
We are in contact with government officials, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the NFL. We are continuing to monitor events as we prepare for Sunday’s home game.
The game is ripe for use as a protest tool by those that would put their own feelings above the public safety. These protests will create controversy, but could also cause unrest or violence getting innocent people hurt or killed.
Panther Safety Tre Boston is considering disrespecting the National Anthem to show solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
“Look how much backlash he took,” Boston said. “That’s a peaceful protest, am I right? When stuff like this happens in the world … where are the people that are mad at Kaepernick for taking a knee? Is everybody still mad at him for trying to stand for something that is happening in this world?
“So do I see myself taking that knee? I don’t know. I have to talk to some people and see if that’s the best thing for me to do.”
The National Guard was deployed in Charlotte on Thursday in response to Governor McCrory having declared a state of emergency in the city, but as of now, no curfew has been set.
Whether the protests escalate or wane may well decide the fate of this Sunday’s football game.