The Green Bay Packers fan who had his banner yanked down Sunday at Bank of America Stadium by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton says the Panthers have made good on a promise to replace the banner.
Mike Dobs, a veteran who works at Fort Bragg, says a new Packers banner was created Monday by the Panthers and shipped to his house.
An apology he wanted from Newton is apparently not part of the deal, but Dobs said he’s appreciative that Scott Paul, the team’s executive director of stadium operations, “is a man of his word.”
Dobs said he didn’t ask for money from the team, only a replacement banner.
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“Scott Paul was the only person who took us seriously and the banner is perfect,” Dobs said.
Dobs and his family were holding the Packers banner – with a green map of North Carolina, the Green Bay logo and the words “North Carolina Cheesehead – before the start of Sunday’s Green Bay-Carolina game in Charlotte. Newton noticed the sign during pregame events at the stadium and grabbed it.
The Dobs family has said they thought the quarterback was joking, but quickly realized that was not the case when Newton didn’t return the banner.
Dobs complained to police at the stadium and filed at report that accused Newton of stealing the banner. Dobs said he had paid $500 to have it made for his “man room” earlier this year and wanted it replaced.
On Wednesday, Dobs said he holds no grudge against Newton.
“I like the guy,” Dobs said. “I would have liked it if he would have signed the banner that they sent. My wife is over it, though, because of all the trouble we went through. She doesn’t want to step foot in Charlotte again, which is a shame, because we loved it when we were there.”
The Panthers released a statement earlier this week that the organization is evaluating its banner and flag policy.
The banner issue made national news and blew up on social media, with negative comments aimed at both Newton and Dobs.
Dobs said the family has received about 20 threats of violence this week as a result of the story, including some people who claimed they were searching for the family’s house in Fayetteville. Adding insult to injury, Dobs says many of the dozens of reporters from around the country who called for interviews ended up making fun of him during their broadcasts.
“The memes we’ve seen involving me and the banner have actually been hilarious. We’ve gotten a good laugh from them and I’m collecting them,” Dobs said.
One plus from the incident has been calls he’s gotten from fellow veterans he hasn’t seen in decades. Dobs says some reunions could take place in coming months. He says he also heard from the Green Bay Packers organization “to see if I was okay.”
As for Dobs’ new Packers banner, the family is shipping it up to relatives in Wisconsin who are attending the Green Bay Packers Sunday game against the Detroit Lions. “I’m hoping we can get the team to sign it,” Dobs said. “We may even get fans to sign it.”
It’s a symbolic gesture he hopes will send a message that Green Bay fans can be just as loyal as Panthers fans.