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Newton visits family members of Charleston victims

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Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton visited with the families of the Charleston, S.C., shooting tragedy to show his respect.

In the aftermath of last week’s shootings when a gunman killed nine people during Bible study at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Panthers organization and its players continue to reach out in support of the victims and their families.

Newton visited the families of Tywanza Sanders and Sharonda Coleman-Singleton on Monday in Charleston. Sanders and Coleman-Singleton were two of the nine people killed.

“Out of respect of the families, I didn’t want to say anything too much about it,” Newton told the Panthers’ official website. “What was done, it was done. I didn’t want to be a distraction by no means; I just wanted to show my respect.

“One thing we have to realize in this life is we have to use our influence in a positive way, and that’s all I was trying to do. It was a senseless act, but at the same time, it was done in South Carolina. Being the face of a franchise that’s based out of North Carolina, it’s the whole gamut. So why didn’t I go? That’s the thing I would have had to question myself if I didn’t go. I’m happy I did it, and so much respect to those families who lost their loved ones.”

Last Friday, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson donated $100,000 to the families of the nine victims killed, and to the church where the murders occurred. Richardson sent $10,000 per family of the victims for funeral costs and another $10,000 to the church as a memorial honoring the victims.

The Panthers organization, which holds its training camp in Spartanburg, S.C., has also joined the movement for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina state capitol. Gov. Nikki Haley called for the removal of the flag Monday.

“Our organization prides itself on bringing people together,” Panthers spokesman Steven Drummond told the Charlotte Observer. “Divisive symbols and actions should not stand in conflict to progress, healing and the unification of all our citizens.”


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