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Amid Charlotte uproar Panthers happy to

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:23 pm
by sherry2018love
CHARLOTTE, N.C. The pads and cleats were being stripped away. The showers were running.Laughter and the stench of sweat filled the air. Nothing about the Panthers post-practice locker room indicated anything DJ Alexander Jersey out of the ordinary for a Wednesday afternoon. The Vikings are coming to town Sunday busine s as usual.Never mind the racial tension and public uncertainty unfolding in the city surrounding Bank of America Stadium.STEELE: Time for Panthers, owners to speak upWith protesters filling the Charlotte streetsafter the police-involved shooting death of KeithLamont Scott, the ignorance-is-bli s formula, right or wrong, seems to be working for the Panthers. Their leader, after all, is quarterback Cam Newton, the public face of the no-opinion tactic.It's a stark contrast to the Black Lives Matter-based protestingColin Kaepernick has brought to the NFL over the past month.The Panthers didn't want to talk about social i suesbefore Tuesday's shooting, and the close-to-home strike doesn't change anything."Actually, to be all the way real, I don't think one person in here came in and had an opinion on that situation,"wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. told Sporting News. I mean, not one person. We have a lot of people who will fight on their opinions to death. But as whole, as a group, we haven't had not one conversation. I haven't, but I know as a whole in this locker room, nobody really talks about that situation."MORE: Newtonspeaks up, sort of: We all are accountableSafety Tre Boston is one of those opinionated players check his Twitter feed for proof. But when Boston was approached by media Wednesday for clarity on his thoughts, he chose "muscle beforemedia"and darted to the weight room.He didnt want to talk about the protests, the shooting or social injustice on this day. Neither did offensive tackle Michael Oher, who declined SNs request for comment. Guard Andrew Norwell did the same.The playerswho did talkdidnt have much to say. Dee Ford Jersey They had been at the stadium for meetings and practice all morning, as more news about Scott's shooting came out. The only information they hadcame early this morning or late last night.But an obvious common theme emerged from conversations with a dozen or so Carolina players: This is not a discu sion for an NFL locker room. Not theirs, at least."We try not to get into it because we try to stay focused on football,"cornerback Bene Benwikere said. "We always preach anything thats going on outside, leave that at the door. Whether its family i sues or anything. Thats our motto here. Leave everything outside the door before you walk in the stadium.Ah, yes the "stick to sports"mantra. And Benwikere was far from alone in reciting it.Said coach Ron Rivera:If they dont have to answer your questions, they can focus in on football."MORE: Before you rip Ron Rivera, really think about his pointAnd Ginn:It's not in my control. So I just play football and whatever's going on with that piece of deal, them group of guys will handle it."And defensive end Lavar Edwards:"I think that us as a team, we're football players. First and foremost, we should focus on what we have going on as a team: winning games, going to the Super Bowl and things like that."And rookie corner James Bradberry: "I've been so overwhelmed by the football aspect (of being a rookie), and no one has really brought up standing or sitting for the flag or anything like that. So I really haven't thought about it."Profe sional athletes roles in society and in conversations about sociali sues are debatable and, naturally, rarely agreed upon. Newton called it a lose-lose situation."Rivera agreed."We dont have all the answers, the coach said. We dont know exactly whats been going on. I dont think its fair for us to be put in a position where we have to make comments on something (we) really don't know about."I think its also very unfair that people are looking for us for direction. Im not sure were in a position to give people direction. Thats what the people we elected in certain positions should Marcus Allen Jersey be doing."MORE: National anthem protests around sports, in photosThe fact that football players are not sociologists, though, does not protect them from the questions. Profe sional athletes and celebrities in our society are viewed as people with power. People with power can be influential. That truth can't be ignored.Some players embrace the platform. While people will either like or dislike what he said, Newton did not back down from the podium when asked about social injustice and the Charlotte protests in particular. He spoke for about 15 minutes.But in Carolina, he's the exception. The norm Wednesday was closer to what defensive end Kony Ealy had to say: "I stay to myself, man. For the most part I just dont worry about things I cant control.Football requires that mindset. Ealy cant control Bradberrys coverage or Luke Kuechly's reads. He can do his job, and thats about it.Maybe thats part of the reason the Panthers remain so quiet onsocial i sues,despite Riveras claim of an expre sive locker room culture. The coach doesnt "monitor"anybody, he said, but he welcomes those who want to talk and/or seek his advice. His players agreed thats Kenneth Acker Jersey the case.That said, the relative silence in Carolinas locker room Wednesday was surprising given what had occurred in the same city several hours prior.MORE: Worst of the worst Kaepernick takesSilence, that is, unle s were talking about football.After 10 minutes of questions and discu sion about off-field i sues, a reporter asked Rivera about receiver Devin Funche s celebration penalty during last weeks win over the 49ers. He smiled before answering the question.Whew back to football. Busine s as usual.Contributing: Adi Joseph