CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers were set to hold a scrimmage at Bank of America Stadium on Saturday to help the coaching staff evaluate players, as roster cuts are a week away.
Once the team arrived and enter team meetings, however, the organization released a statement to media outlets that practice for the day was canceled.
The Carolina Panthers were not able to provide further information on why the practice was canceled, but there have been reports that discussions at the team meetings were about social justice and how the team can use its platform to push for change. These reports have not been confirmed at this time.
Bill Voth, the assistant director of digital media and broadcasting for the Panthers, said on his Twitter that he would pass along updates as available — but he later said the players and Matt Rhule were working on "next steps" before speaking further.
It comes as athletes and teams across the country are using their platforms to speak against racial injustice.
The NBA and NHL both postponed playoff games in the past week, with NBA players going on strike just moments before the Milwaukee Bucks were scheduled to face the Orlando Magic Wednesday. Wednesday and Thursday, the WNBA called off multiple scheduled games in response.
President Donald Trump criticized the NBA’s action, telling reporters that the NBA has become like “a political organization.”
Multiple Major League Baseball games were also postponed at the encouragement of players.
Carolina Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule said earlier in the week the team planned to do something as well but wanted it to be well thought out.
"They wanted to be in support of the NBA and social justice," Rhule said Wednesday. "I think at the end of the day they wanted to do something impactful, take some time and do something besides missing a Wednesday night practice."
As for exactly what that is, the team has not yet made its plans public.