CHARLOTTE, NC (WJZY) - Not even a Carolina Panthers game could stop protesters from continuing their cause, but fans said the demonstrations weren’t going to stop them from having a good time.
“We are here to show there are more important things happening on a Sunday in Charlotte than a Panthers game, believe it or not,” said Ashley Williams, a protester.
“The Panthers game is supposed to be fun and they shouldn’t take away everyone’s joy,” said Megan Bonds of Concord, NC. “It’s no longer protesting to me at that point, if it’s taking away everyone’s happiness.”
The number of people tailgating was down from previous games. According to a parking lot attendant, they had 90 lots already paid for, but a few people called to say they weren’t coming.
“”I had all my friends telling me be safe when you are going down there,” said Kathy Bickett, a season tailgater.
A heavy police presence could be seen around Bank of America Stadium. About every 10 feet there appeared to be an officer in full riot gear.
Officers formed a line to make sure people going to the game weren’t interrupted. Protesters were still able to get their message across.
“I was kind of shocked,” said Simon Gebrekirstos of Charlotte. “I love this city, but at the same time I’ve seen this and thought about how I can go to the game any time, but right here, seeing other American citizens speak out for all the other social injustice going on; I’d rather watch this now.”