CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera says the team will end its bat pre-game ritual. "It's the no fun league for a reason," he told reporters at a press conference Tuesday.
A Panthers spokesman says the team's defensive backs regularly bring a baseball bat on the field during pre-game warmups "to get up" for opponents because it "represents them bringing the wood and making home run plays on defense."
Steven Drummond denied Monday that any member of the team used the bat to threaten New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. before Carolina's 38-35 win on Sunday. There are also unconfirmed reports that players yelled homophobic slurs.
Panthers cornerback Josh Norman was involved in several altercations during the game with Beckham, who was suspended for one game by the league on Monday.
Drummond says the bat tradition is "nothing new."
He said players took the bat to New York as a way of remembering cornerback Bene Benwikere, who suffered a season-ending broken leg against Atlanta.
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