Most Carolina Panthers players avoided being pulled into political discussions Wednesday, a day after billionaire businessman Donald Trump was elected president.
“God bless America,” tight end Ed Dickson said, declining further comment.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said he didn’t follow Tuesday’s election results because he was working.
Veteran safety Michael Griffin didn’t say who he voted for, but made it clear he was not a fan of Trump’s ideas or his tactics during debates with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Griffin referenced Trump’s press conference – before the second debate – with four women who have accused Bill and Hillary Clinton of rape, sexual assault or protecting a sexual criminal.
“To bring Bill Clinton’s accusers on the front row, I’m like, ‘What is going on here?’” Griffin said. “So I could never really pay attention to what his political views were because there were too much distractions with everything else.”
People were like, ‘That’s so wrong. He’s going to build a wall.’ I’m like, ‘Everybody goes under it anyway. Build it as tall as you want. I’ve never seen ... anybody go over. They always go under. -
Michael Griffin, Panthers safety
Griffin, who grew up in Texas and played for the University of Texas, found Trump’s promise to build a wall on the Mexican border to keep illegal immigrants from crossing to be amusing.
“People were like, ‘That’s so wrong. He’s going to build a wall.’ I’m like, ‘Everybody goes under it anyway. Build it as tall as you want. I’ve never seen in all the videos I’ve seen anybody go over. They always go under,’” Griffin said. “So if you want to spend all the money on building a wall, go ahead. But everybody’s going to go under.”
Before the election Panthers coach Ron Rivera encouraged fans and players to vote. Rivera wasn’t concerned about the results driving a wedge between his players.
“They do talk about it. They do discuss it. And they just go with it,” Rivera said. “It’s not as divisive in the locker room as it is in some other places.”
Rivera, who has never discussed his political affiliation, said now “it’s about this country healing and coming back together more so than anything else.”