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The Journal Gazette

September 23, 2016 1:01 AM

Panthers pushing for game

Officials keeping eye on protests in Charlotte

STEVE REED | Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Thomas Davis said the Carolina Panthers’ game Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings should “absolutely” be played as scheduled, even with the city being under a state of emergency due to violent protests over a recent police shooting.

The All-Pro linebacker said football has a unique way of bringing people together and believes the game is something the community needs.

“If you take this game away, I think it is going to just continue to add to the stress and add to what is already going on in a negative way,” Davis said Thursday.

Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency in Charlotte on Wednesday and sent the National Guard and state troopers in to help restore peace .

The NFL said it plans for the game to be played as scheduled, although it will continue to monitor the protests.

Panthers president Danny Morrison said in a statement Thursday that the team is “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.”

Davis isn’t alone in his belief that the game should be played.

Eight Carolina players questioned and coach Ron Rivera all said they believe the game should go on.

Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, who played five seasons for the Panthers and still owns a home in Charlotte, said Thursday he’s a little nervous about coming home for the game.

“Right now I would be. It’s definitely out of control,” Munnerlyn said.