Social Media Debates NFL Panthers' Generous Deed For Local Boy
12-year-old Jaylin Clyburn started mowing lawns to save for college this summer.@Lowes and @RiverboatRonHC heard his story and got him all new equipment for his growing business 💙 pic.twitter.com/PmlcdiQXH8— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 6, 2019
Lowe's and the NFL Panthers last week awarded a 12-year-old boy with a "laundry list of gifts, including a $500 electric lawn mower" and a football signed by QB Cam Newton, but the gift "sparked a heated debate over both the size of the gift and how the presentation of that gift was packaged," according to Theoden Janes of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The decision by coach Ron Rivera and Lowe's came after seeing Jaylin Clyburn on the local news for his "flourishing lawn mowing business." The Panthers invited him to Charlotte to "mow grassy areas right outside of Bank of America Stadium." The Panthers posted a video on their social media channels that "highlighted their gift," and the video went viral. Most of the consternation was on Twitter, as a "hard line was drawn between two camps: One that felt Lowe's and the Panthers should have done much more just than patting him on the back and sending him back to work -- e.g., a college scholarship -- and one that responded by arguing that giving him a free ride would send the wrong message about initiative and earning your own way." It caused "enough of a stir" that Panthers Owner David Tepper "decided to intervene personally." Wendy Clyburn, Jaylin's mother, revealed that Tepper had "personally met with Jaylin earlier in the week, following the controversy over the video." She said Tepper was "kind enough to assist in Jaylin's education future" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/12).