NFL-League gives green light to Panthers-Vikings game in Charlotte

Sept 22 (Reuters) - Sunday's National Football League game in Charlotte between the Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings will go ahead as planned despite two nights of violent protests in North Carolina's largest city, the league said on Thursday.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency during Wednesday night's rioting, sparked after Keith Scott, 43, was shot dead the previous day by a black police officer outside a Charlotte apartment complex.

"We are planning to play the game as scheduled on Sunday," the league said in a statement.

"We are monitoring events in Charlotte and have been in communication with local officials and authorities, and both the Carolina Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings."

One man was critically wounded by a gunshot during Wednesday's rioting, and at least eight more civilians and four police officers were injured and 44 people arrested for charges ranging from assault to failure to disperse.

Many of the protesters dispute the official account of Scott's death. Police contend that he was carrying a gun when he approached officers and ignored repeated orders to drop it.

Scott's family and a witness have said he was holding a book, not a firearm, when he was killed.

Carolina Panthers president Danny Morrison said in a statement: "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."


Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, a three-times Pro Bowl selection, on Wednesday weighed in on Scott's shooting and the topic of social justice.

"I'm a firm a believer of justice. I'm a firm believer of doing the right thing," Newton told reporters.

"And I can't repeat it enough of just holding people accountable ... I am not happy with what or how the justice has been kind of dealt with over the years.

"The police brutality ... it's embarrassing to even talk about. When you sit up here and list the names, it's crazy to even think about how did this even happen and how do police who take a leave absence and still get paid."

Several NFL players have raised fists or knelt during pre-game performances of the U.S. national anthem this season, a protest started by San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the preseason.

Kaepernick was the first player to make a public gesture against injustice and police brutality when he refused to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner", a policy he has continued in recent weeks.

Controversial fatal police shootings of black men across the United States have sparked more than two years of protests asserting racial bias and excessive force by police and giving rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Scott's killing was the 214th of a black person by U.S. police this year out of an overall total of 821, according to Mapping Police Violence, an anti-police violence group created out of the protest movement.

There is no national-level government data on police shootings. (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Both)

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines
Help us learn more about commenters. Click here to take this quick survey.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Load comments
Continue Reading