NFL Prepared to Move Sunday’s Game Due to Charlotte Riots

by Brian Nichols

The riots that began in Charlotte, NC on Tuesday evening after the controversial police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott have taken a turn for the worst, as they have become increasingly violent and destructive.

Since Tuesday, the riots that have erupted in Charlotte have led to injuries, death, and destruction. According to recent reports, not even professional sport teams are safe.

According to The Charlotte Observer, the NASCAR Hall of Fame was among the businesses and venues damaged by protesters Wednesday, smashing windows in the NASCAR Tower office building, which also houses the Hall of Fame. However, the looters failed to get into the Hall and none of its exhibits were stolen or damaged.

Unfortunately, NBA’s Charlotte Hornets were not so lucky, as their official team store at the Spectrum Center was looted after several windows were broken.

With the upcoming Carolina Panthers home game versus the Minnesota Vikings at Bank of America Stadium taking place on Sunday, the Panthers and NFL officials are preparing for the very real possibility of moving their home game away from Charlotte and the violent protests.

Panthers president Danny Morrison said in a prepared statement that, “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.”

Since Morrison’s statement, The National Guard and the state Highway Patrol were called in to assist area police in an attempt to quell the riots after North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory instituted a State of Emergency for the City of Charlotte.

As a result of Governor McCory’s actions, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy stated in an email to USA TODAY Sports that “We are planning to play the game as scheduled on Sunday. 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.”

However, the NFL did not rule out the possibility of relocating the game if the riots were to escalate to a point where fans and players were placed in danger.

The riots were initiated after Keith Lamont Scott, a black man, was shot and killed by police on Tuesday. Police say Scott, 43, was holding a handgun (which investigators recovered from the scene), at an apartment complex in Charlotte, and posed a threat because he was not obeying police orders to not exit his vehicle and drop the weapon. An officer subsequently fired his gun, hitting Scott, who was later pronounced dead.

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