Amid ongoing riots in Charlotte over the fatal police shooting of a black man, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton wore a shirt quoting Martin Luther King Jr. on Sunday as he warmed up to face the Minnesota Vikings.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” the back of Newton’s shirt read. The quote is excerpted from King’s 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 25, 2016
The Panthers and Vikings squared off at Carolina’s Bank of America Stadium, located in uptown Charlotte, Sunday afternoon.
The past week has seen the Queen City embroiled in a series of both violent and peaceful protests following the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. (RELATED: Charlotte Rioters Have New List Of Demands, Includes Reparations)
Wednesday, Newton addressed the shooting, calling for accountability and unity. He added that did not know enough to comment about the specific incident more fully.
“I do know something tragic happened in the Charlotte area,” Newton said. “My heart mourns for that family, but I just don’t know enough information at this specific time.”
Newton commented more broadly on police violence and violence in the black community, calling police brutality “embarrassing.”
“When you sit up here and list the names, it’s crazy to even think about how did this even happen. And how does police take a leave of absence still getting paid? But also when you look at the most dangerous cities in America you know Atlanta, Birmingham, Chicago, Miami, Louisiana. I know from being a black person, it’s a lot of black people who don’t do right by black people,” he said.
Newton continued Wednesday, adding, “[Y]ou can’t be a hypocrite and just say, ‘Oh well, a white man or a white police officer killed a black man.’ Now that’s still messed up. I’m not sitting up here saying that it’s OK. I’m just saying we’ve just still got to be, have a clear-eyed vision on both sides, and it starts with everybody holding each other accountable and policing yourselves. That’s all I’m saying.”
Saturday Charlotte police released dashboard and body camera video of the Scott shooting. It is unclear if Scott had a gun in his hand as the police allege or a book as Scott’s family claims. (RELATED: Authorities Releasing Dash Cam Footage From Charlotte Shooting)