Panthers, NFL monitoring protests in advance of Sunday game

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By STEVE REED

(AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

(AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The NFL said its plans are for Sunday’s game between the Minnesota Vikings and Carolina Panthers to be played as scheduled, although the league will continue to monitor the ongoing violent protests that have gripped Charlotte.

Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency in Charlotte on Wednesday night and has sent the National Guard in to help restore peace.

“We are planning to play the game as scheduled on Sunday,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to The Associated Press on Thursday. “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.”

Panthers president Danny Morrison said in a statement earlier Thursday that the team is “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.”

What began as a peaceful protest Wednesday night led to more rioting and looting in the city with one person shot and four police officers injured.

The Panthers (1-1) have won 14 straight home games.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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