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Fans rappel from upper deck at Panthers game to protest BofA

Fans rappel from upper deck at Panthers game to protest Bank of America
11/2/15- Yahoo Sports
By Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

In a surreal scene, two fans rappelled from the upper deck during the Carolina Panthers’ game against the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night to protest Bank of America, and the company’s support of a planned liquefied natural gas facility.

ESPN showed the fans during the second half, coming down from the second deck with a banner. Social media pictures of the fans revealed the banner that expressed opposition to Bank of America and to “Dump Dominion.” A media release from explained that the protest was against the bank’s “financing the planned liquefied natural gas [LNG] export facility in Cove Point, Maryland.” The Panthers play in Bank of America Stadium.

The Charlotte Observer reported that four were arrested in the stunt. The report said that the four were David Baghdadi, Erica Madrid, John Nicholson and Angela Vogel, according to We Are Cove Point, an organization involved in the protest. The scene lasted a while. The protesters started to descend during the third quarter and hung by ropes “well into the fourth quarter,” according to the Associated Press.

The media release said one of the protesters had this statement: “They are giving money directly to Dominion with full knowledge of the health and safety risks of building an LNG export facility, and they need to be accountable to that.”

During the fourth quarter ESPN showed the protesters again, still hanging from the upper deck, and showed that some rows of fans in the section below the protesters were moved out of their seats for their safety. Law enforcement officers were in the upper deck above the protesters trying to figure out how to handle the situation.

It’s an embarrassing moment for the NFL and the Panthers, who get millions from Bank of America for naming rights on their stadium. Carolina and all NFL stadiums have strict policies on what can be brought inside, so there will be many questions for stadium personnel of how two people got gear and a banner in.

The “Monday Night Football” game, played in a rainstorm, wasn’t all that exciting for most of the evening (until the end). The protesters hanging off the upper deck added a different story line, though not one the NFL or the Panthers wanted.

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