Panthers' Tepper Calls Trump's Take On NFL Player Protests "Just Wrong"
Panthers Owner David Tepper said the way President Trump changed the narrative on why NFLers are protesting during the national anthem is "just wrong, it's dead wrong." Appearing on CNBC on Thursday, Tepper said, "It’s not that anyone is unpatriotic. ... Some of this stuff was about having justice for all." He added, "Everybody is standing this season because, as people are starting to understand, it’s what you do in the community and what you do out there. We have a lot of good guys who do a lot of good things out there." Tepper: "I’ve gotten to know some of the players (in Charlotte) and I’ve gotten to see some of the charities that these players are involved in, whether it’s the Cam Newton Foundation or Thomas Davis or Greg Olsen. There’s a lot of people who contribute and the list goes on and on of Panthers who are involved in the community down there. There’s a lot of good people so if I was going to do one more thing, I’d say to just put out the community activities of what the players do and how involved some of them are in the community, that would be a good thing." More Tepper: "Maybe the league can do more, maybe they can or maybe they can’t, with saying how much good the players do and get that message out more" ("Halftime Report," CNBC, 9/13).
WON'T BACK DOWN: As the number of NFLers protesting during the anthem decreases, Dolphins WR Kenny Stills said that his "protests and commitment to the cause won't ever change." Stills: "Activism isn't something you just kind of get involved in and then turn your back on it. Once your eyes are open to some of the things that are happening, you continue to work and try and grow and create change for the rest of your life, so this is something I'm committed to forever." ESPN.com's Cameron Wolfe noted Stills "started to kneel" at the start of the '16 season, and last week, he and Dolphins WR Albert Wilson were the only two NFLers to continue to kneel. Stills: "I would be encouraged to see more guys participating in the protest but I understand that everybody makes their own decisions. ... It's never been about what other guys are doing. I understand my position and what I'm ... standing up for, and I'll continue to do that." Stills "brushed off a retweet by President Donald Trump criticizing his protest." Stills mentioned a tweet from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sent in "support of his community service in Miami, and mentioned that the two have had conversations about his protest previously." On Sept. 11, Stills, Wilson and Dolphins cheerleaders "went to the Miami VA Healthcare System and West Palm Beach VA Medical Center to spend time with sick South Florida veterans and honor those that fought for America" (ESPN.com, 9/13). Stills: "To see and know that veterans understand what we're doing and why we're doing it, we're not against them. And it's never been about that. I think that's really important and it means a lot to them" (PALM BEACH POST, 9/14). Stills insists that he has "not been pressured by the people who run the Dolphins to stop." He said coach Adam Gase "understands and we're on the same page" (MIAMI HERALD, 9/14).