Julius Peppers, lone Panther, Protested During National Anthem

Julius Peppers
NFL Players protested in a variety of ways after President Trump’s comments. However, all of the Panthers didn’t but one, Julius Peppers.

CHARLOTTE —- The President of the United States made it clear how he feels about players protesting during the national anthem. He called them ‘sons of bitches’ and said they should be punished and/or fired. However, many players showed solidarity and protested throughout the league today. The Carolina Panthers exercised their first amendment right and didn’t protest at all. Nevertheless, Julius Peppers wanted to do things differently.

“I wanna get one thing clear,” Peppers said. “This wasn’t about disrespecting the military, disrespecting the flag, police, first responders none of that. It wasn’t about that.”

Peppers acknowledged that he didn’t want to ask anyone to protest with him. He reiterated that this was something he felt like he had to do.

He added, “It was about me making a decision as a man on my two feet. I just thought it was appropriate to stay in (the locker room.) We know what went on this week with the comments that were made by the president. I felt like he attacked our brothers, my brothers in the league. So, I felt like it was appropriate to stand up for them and stay in the locker room.”

Peppers admitted that the last 24 hours was a lot for him to process in making this decision. In addition, he understands his decision may have some negative responses to it. However, he doesn’t care.

“I know a lot of people might not understand it. A lot of people might be upset about it and that’s fine,” he said. “I’m not living my life up here trying to make everybody happy. I’m doing things that I feel that are right and things that I believe in.”

He added, “It’s only a few times in a man’s life where you have a chance to stand up for something that you believe in and make a statement. So, today I thought it was that chance. So I took it.”




Peppers fine with being lone Panther that protested:

Peppers isn’t the type of player that likes to have all the cameras in his face. Many media members in Charlotte didn’t get a chance to interview him until months after he signed with the Panthers. Making a stance and deciding to protest would be overbearing for many. However, that wasn’t the case for Peppers.

“It wasn’t hard at all,” he said. “Because I feel that strongly about it.”


He made it clear that he wasn’t looking for his teammates to join him. This was a decision he made as a man and stands by it. In addition, he hopes the conversation will continue about the racial injustices of people of color.


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Joshua Vinson
Wizards/Carolina Panthers Beat Writer-- at Fox Sports/WHAP
This season is my 5th year covering the NBA. I specialize in feature stories and exclusives are what I do best. During the NFL season, I'm now covering the Carolina Panthers. This is my second year covering the NFL. Feel free to connect with me. I live by the following quote:

"A journalist who doesn't value deeply an audience's loyalty should be in another line of work." --- Peter Jennings