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Ric Flair Supposedly Won’t Attend Panthers-49ers Game Because of Death Threats from Panthers Fans
Most years, if North Carolina native Ric Flair went and addressed another NFL team before a playoff game and claimed his “heart is with [them] all the way to the end,” it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. After all, most years, the Carolina Panthers are not in the playoffs, which means they are not going to come up against whichever team Nature Boy professed his love for.
That’s not the case in January 2014, though. The Panthers aren’t just in the playoffs. They are the second seed in the NFC with a record of 12-4. And this week they’ll play host to last year’s NFC champs, the San Francisco 49ers—the very team Ric Flair gave a pep talk to last week.
Talk about a heel turn! Nature Boy has always been a local hero in Charlotte, and when the Panthers came to town he was one of their most visible fans. We’re talking season tickets, frequent appearances on the jumbotron, and all that. But last week Flair said he left his heart in San Francisco, and that burned the Panthers and their fans pretty badly.
Now, according to a statement from Ric Flair’s agent, the WWE legend has been viciously attacked online by Panthers fans all week and has ever received death threats. For that reason, he won’t be in attendance on Sunday.
Of course, the “statement” reads like a pretty typical WWE PR move. So take it with a grain of salt.
Read it for yourself:
CHARLOTTE, NC – (January 9, 2014) He’s always been the “dirtiest player in the game” – and some things never change.
A long time Carolina Panthers fan, RicFlair created quite the stir when WWE sent him to Green Bay, WI January 5th to give the San Francisco 49ers an unexpected locker room pep talk. WWE is hosting WrestleMania XXXI in SanFrancisco in 2015. Now many are asking: Will Flair attend the January 12th playoff game in Carolina as they host San Francisco? And if so, which team will he support?
“When the 49ers reached out and WWE asked Ric to jet up there, of course he said yes,” says Melinda Morris Zanoni, Flair’s agent at Legacy Talent and Entertainment, “and he’s friends with a bunch of the 49ers just like he is with the Panthers, Packers, and many other NFL players. But no, Ric does not intend on attending the Panthers vs. 49ers game this weekend.” “What can I say? I’ve always been a very good heel!” added Flair.
The 49er pep talk, which instantly went viral, caused many Carolina fans to voice their feelings of anger and betrayal on social media – some even offering death threats to Flair. “We know fans are passionate about their teams, but some of the choice language we have been receiving is scaring off our interns,” says Melinda.
Are Panthers fan legitimately pissed at The Nature Boy? Probably. That may even be the real reason why he won’t attend the game. But it might also just be the case that he had a previously scheduled colonoscopy or something (because he’s old), and I really wouldn’t worry too much about the guy. At the end of the day, he’s still a heel. If he’s not getting death threats, he’s not doing his job right.
Hat Tip – [Deadspin]