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Report: Carolina Panthers players miffed by owner Jerry Richardson's protest position

By The Sports Xchange
Report: Carolina Panthers players miffed by owner Jerry Richardson's protest position
Carolina Panther owner Jerry Richardson walks on the football field prior to his team's game against the Green Bay Packers at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. File photo by Nell Redmond/UPI | License Photo

Players concerned with Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson's position on pregame protests are scheduled to meet with their boss on Tuesday to discuss those concerns.

According to a report in the Charlotte Observer, some Panthers fear repercussions if they join the growing number of NFL players demonstrating during the national anthem.

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Before Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, veteran defensive end Julius Peppers remained in the locker room while the anthem was played. Richardson was the 31st of 32 owners to chime in with a statement in response to President Donald Trump's remarks at a rally in Alabama in which he challenged NFL team owners to fire the "son of a bitch" who kneels during the anthem.

"Politicizing the game is damaging and takes the focus off the greatness of the game itself and those who played it," said Richardson, who is the only current owner to play in the NFL.

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Head coach Ron Rivera, a self-described Army brat, is the son of a veteran. His father was in the military for 32 years including two tours of duty in Vietnam.

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Rivera told players before Sunday's game that the best way to show unity was to "stand and look at the flag and be at attention" during the national anthem. Rivera praised Peppers for "trying to find a way to do it the right way."

By count of pregame photo panoramic stadium shots, roughly 200 players either took a knee or raised a fist to the air or both.

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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones knelt with players before Dallas faced the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night. Jones previously took a hard-line stance against any protest during the national anthem.

Jones and head coach Jason Garrett said the team's position changed with Trump's comments over the weekend.

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