Carolina Panthers

Panthers DE Kony Ealy standing with former Missouri teammates in protest

Carolina Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy (94), who had a strip sack of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) on Sunday, said after the game he stands with his former Missouri teammates and coaches in their strike against the school’s president.
Carolina Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy (94), who had a strip sack of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) on Sunday, said after the game he stands with his former Missouri teammates and coaches in their strike against the school’s president. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Former Missouri standout and current Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy is standing with his former teammates and coaches as they plan to strike until the university president is removed from office.

The strike comes at a time when there have been a number of racial incidents across campus. On Sunday morning, the dozens of African-American players on the team said they would go on strike.

Hours later, they were joined by the rest of the team and coaching staff, including head coach Gary Pinkel.

“They’ve got a great support system,” Ealy, who had one sack and three quarterback hits on Sunday, said after the win. “I know our coach Gary Pinkel, he does a great job of standing up and leading. My heart goes out to those guys. I know it’s a difficult situation with them being in the middle of the season having to deal with it, but I know they’ll persevere. They have great leaders on the team and they’ve got a great staff. It’s a family atmosphere and they’ll get through it.

“He’s more than a coach to us. He’s like a father. No matter if we’ve been there or the guys who are there now or when we go back home, he’s like a father to us. He’s like a players coach.”

Asked if he supports the players’ decision, Ealy said, “I support my family.”

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