Players say Panthers owner will support them if they protest

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said Wednesday that the time is now for him and his teammates to help bring people closer.

While hundreds of players around the league protested the comments from President Trump on Sunday the only Carolina player who did was defensive end Julius Peppers.

"My hat goes off to the Colin Kaepernicks of the world", said Newton, referring to the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who past year began kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games in protest of racial inequity and police violence against black people in America.

That could change this Sunday before they play the Patriots.

"There's something that's in the midst", Newton said.

Newton referred to former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as a "legend" for starting the movement against police brutality and racial injustices past year.

"Nobody who has protested meant for it to be disrespectful to the United States flag or whatever demonstration of a protest that person had", Newton said. People feeling oppressed and people that are rich looking down on other people, you don't get nowhere with that.

Newton was then among the team leaders who met with team owner Jerry Richardson Tuesday. Peppers attended the meeting at Richardson's home. He can do a lot of different things, beat you in a lot of different ways. "The different people that were over there come from different backgrounds and have different views".

"We agreed that everyone is entitled to their own thought process", Newton said. "A lot of what we talked about is confidential, but it was a very productive meeting".

"That doesn't mean where I'm from, they don't see it", he said.

Richardson released a statement Monday that said politicizing football is damaging to the greatness of the game and those who play it. The meeting was prompted by some players privately expressing frustration over not being able to express their views on social issues while playing for the Panthers for fear of potential repercussions. Therefore you can not say in truth that you go to a game here to get away from politics, when there are reminders of politics and war from the moment the players run onto the field. "You don't want to try to put that bad taste in people's mouths". He's made the ultimate sacrifice and I respect that whole heartedly. "Where I stand, I want to think about it, I want to have reasoning [before] I take action to it". "It's just not going to take something that happens on Sunday".

"I know that I was like, 'Man, if I do sit down or if I do kneel or hold up a fist or stay in the locker room, I don't know how it would look to Big Cat", Munnerlyn said.

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