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Buick Pee Wee Commercial with Cam Newton and Miranda Kerr for 2017 Super Bowl

Source: Emma McIntyre / Getty

Over the weekend sports figures from the Carolinas weighed in on the conversation surrounding President Donald Trumps encouragement for NFL owners to fire players who kneel during the anthem. Responding to the volatile tweets of our president:

Panther’s Defensive End Julius Peppers who stayed in the locker room during the anthem: “I want to get one thing clear, and I want to let you guys know that this wasn’t about disrespecting the military, disrespecting the flag, police, first responders, none of that.”

Charlotte Hornets Owner Michael Jordan: “One of the fundamental rights this country is founded on was freedom of speech, and we have a long tradition of nonviolent, peaceful protest. Those who exercise the right to peacefully express themselves should not be demonized or ostracized.”

NASCAR Team owner Richard Petty: “Anybody that don’t stand up for that ought to be out of the country. Period. If they don’t appreciate where they’re at … what got them where they’re at? The United States.”

Panther’s Quarterback Cam Newton:  “My opinion, some of the remarks were unacceptable, especially in certain people’s position. But at the of the day, we still need work in our society as a whole. One thing about it on both fronts, I will do my job. At the end of the day, I will stay in my lane, but we all are entitled to our own opinion. (Racial injustice) has been an epidemic, so to speak, in this country, for quite some time.”

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera told players: “We need to all stand, look at the flag and be at attention. Left hand down at our side and right hand on our heart.”

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