CEO’s comments cost firm partnerships with NFL, NBA teams

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Carolina Panthers helmet (Photo: Ed Clemente / MGN)

CHARLOTTE, Va. (AP) — Charlotte’s two professional sports franchises and two universities have canceled partnerships with a North Carolina home security company after the firm’s CEO told an activist he should focus on black-on-black crime rather than the George Floyd protests.

CPI Security CEO Ken Gill apologized for his comments Saturday on Twitter. Still, the NFL’s Carolina Panthers said they were ending their relationship with CPI.

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The athletics programs at North Carolina State and the University of South Carolina followed suit Sunday, as did the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets and the Charlotte Knights minor-league baseball club.

The controversy began when Gill responded to an email from a Charlotte activist telling him to “spend your time in a more productive way.”