Charlotte served as the latest theatre of police brutality protesting over the last week following the death of Keith Lamont Scott at the hands of the Charlotte police.

Those protests have caused sizable unrest within the city, and there were concerns all weekend about the level of security surrounding Sunday’s Panthers-Vikings matchup. There were rumors that protestors were planning to block entrances to Bank of America Stadium, and the police presence around the stadium was sizably increased ahead of the game.

With that as the backdrop, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was spotted pregame wearing a shirt that quoted Martin Luther King.

Newton has been reticent to speak freely on the subject of race in recent weeks, which is a change for him as recently as April.

However, with the latest police shooting of a black man happening in Newton’s backyard, he opened up about the tragedy at Tuesday’s press conference.

“I’m an African-American. I am not happy how the justice has been kind of dealt with over the years. The state of oppression in our community. But we also, as black people, have to do right by ourselves. We can’t be hypocrites.

“I say that on one voice but also on another voice that when you go public or when things happen in the community, it’s not the fact that things are happening.  It’s the way they’re being treated after they’re happening. When you get a person that does some unjust things or killing an innocent person, killing fathers, killing people who have actual families. That’s real.”

This pregame attire would seem to be a continuation of his comments on Tuesday. The quote is form Kings’ “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” which was written in 1963 and defended the use of direct nonviolent resistance to racism in the civil rights movement.

Newton will surely be asked to expound upon his choice of attire at Sunday’s postgame press conference, which will hopefully solidify Newton’s message and motivation for wearing the shirt.

[Photo: Bob Leverone/AP]

About Ben Sieck

Ben is a recent graduate of Butler University where he served as Managing Editor and Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Butler Collegian. He currently resides in Indianapolis.