A Fayetteville family is considering filing theft charges against Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton after they said he ripped down a banner and destroyed it ahead of Sunday’s game against the Packers at Bank of America Stadium.
Newton ripped down the banner that a fan was holding near the entryway onto the field.
"We take pride in having an edge in playing in Bank of America Stadium, of playing in front of the Carolinas each and every week," Newton said during his post-game press conference.
According to ESPN, Newton said, "I feel it's my due diligence to protect this house. It wasn't just about tearing down a sign. It was respect."
Mike Dobs, a Packers fan from Fayetteville, said he paid around $500 for the "North Carolina Cheese Head" sign, and was hoping to hang it in his man room after the game.
Dobs said the banner was pre-approved by the stadium but he couldn't hold it over the rail or mount it.
“My family and I were watching the pregame player warm ups. We were excited to see Aaron and Cam on the field. We thought Cam was coming over to talk to us and the crowd around us,” Dobs said. “Instead he ripped the banner out of our hands. We all thought it was a joke at first and then he did not return with the banner.”
Dobs, who currently works at Fort Bragg, is a retired 27-year disabled veteran. He said he received a briefing before the game on what they can and can’t do at the stadium.
“When Cam did not return with my banner, I contacted the stadium police. They took all our information. I asked for the banner back and they told me that Cam destroyed it,” Dobs said.
"We played in Green Bay last year, and I didn't see no 'This is Panthers Country' sign in their stadium," Newton said during his press conference. "I was passing. The sign was dangling. Either somebody was going to take it off, or I take it off. It's no disrespect to nobody. It's just more of a respect to the stadium. We all know gangs, we all know territories, we all know businesses. You're not about to sit up here and sell a Whopper at a McDonald's."
David Sessoms, Dobs son-in-law, told WSOC that they are expecting a call Monday from Scott Paul, Executive Director of Stadium Operations.
The Panthers beat the Packers 37-29 on Sunday. With their win over the Packers the Panthers improved to 8-0 on the season.
"It just doesn't match," Newton said of the banner. "No disrespect to any Green Bay Packer. It's just a respect thing."
For ESPN's full story click here.