NFL plans to play Vikings-Panthers in Charlotte

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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The NFL issued a statement Thursday stating the league is planning to play Sunday's game between the Carolina Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings in Charlotte, North Carolina, as scheduled.

"We are planning to play the game as scheduled on Sunday," the league said. "We are monitoring events in Charlotte and have been in communication with local officials and authorities, and both the Carolina Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings."

Speaking to reporters Friday morning, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said he was confident his department had the resources to keep the city safe during the game. The Panthers released a statement Thursday morning saying they are monitoring events in the city as they prepare for the game.

Protesters took to the streets in Charlotte on Tuesday and Wednesday night after Keith L. Scott, 43, was shot and killed by police outside of a Charlotte apartment complex. Putney said Scott was brandishing a gun and threatening officers before he was shot. Putney said police were examining video footage of the incident as part of their ongoing investigation.

"We are in contact with government officials, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the NFL. We are continuing to monitor events as we prepare for Sunday's home game."

Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year, told reporters Thursday that he thinks "this game absolutely should be played Sunday."

"Absolutely agree that there is a problem in this country," Davis said. "But like I just said, what's going on right now is not the way to fix the problem. So much has been put on us as athletes and entertainers to fix the problem that's going on right now. It's not something that we can get out and voice and share our opinion that's going to fix this problem. It's something needs to start at the top.

"... From a judicial standpoint, a standpoint of someone stepping and saying, 'Hey we have an issue, we need to come together and address this issue.' It's not just going to be the police fixing what's going on internally. ... We have to understand that not all situations are the same. We get emotional in our involvement with certain things. For me as an African-American male to see this stuff going on, it's very disheartening. ... Someone has to be held accountable for what is going on."

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton also spoke at length on the topic of Scott and other social justice issues during his Wednesday news conference.

"I'm a firm a believer of justice. I'm a firm believer of doing the right thing," Newton said. "And I can't repeat it enough of just holding people accountable ... I am not happy with what or how the justice has been kind of dealt with over the years."

Although Newton emphasized the need for "everybody holding each other accountable and policing yourselves," he expressed dismay over how police shootings of African-Americans have been handled.

"The police brutality is ... it's embarrassing to even talk about," he said. "When you sit up here and list the names, it's crazy to even think about how did this even happen and how do police who take a leave absence and still get paid."

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