Panthers owner Jerry Richardson will meet with players to discuss NFL protests

Panthers were awarded the NFL's 29th franchise in 1993 and Richardson's team was valued at $2.3 billion in September.

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson will meet Tuesday with a group of players who are upset with the restrictions he placed on the team that do not allow them to participate in the protests around the NFL.

Richardson plans to sit down with the players who want to express themselves but are afraid there may be consequences for speaking out on social issues, according to The Charlotte Observer.

Richardson released a statement Monday that praised his players as "active and impactful participants" in the community but also expressed his beliefs that sports and politics should remain separate and could cause harm to the sport.

"Politicizing the game is damaging and takes the focus off the greatness of the game itself and those who played it," said Richardson, who was the next-to-last owner to give a statement after President Donald Trump's comments at a rally in Alabama last week.

The goal of the meeting, the Observer reported, is to clear the air before the team begins preparing for this week's game against the Patriots in New England.

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