The Carolina Panthers have revised the team’s banner policy, just over a week after a Green Bay Packers fan had his banner yanked down by quarterback Cam Newton.
Banners, signs and flags can be no larger than 2-by-2-feet, according to the revised policy announced Tuesday by Scott Paul, executive director of stadium operations. The Panthers chose the new size limit because “we want our fans to be able to communicate a message of support without it obstructing the view of fans around them,” Paul said.
The team said it had already been reviewing its rules on banners and signs. But the Nov. 7 incident at the Panthers-Packers game “obviously played a role” in the review of the 20-year-old policy.
“The reality is our stadium has evolved over that time, and the renovations have altered the ability of our fans to affix banners,” Paul said. The team also said it didn’t want stadium features like its field wall graphics and 360-degree ribbon boards to be compromised.
Fans from visiting teams are still permitted to bring signs into the stadium.
Mike Dobs, a veteran who works at Fort Bragg, and his family were holding the Packers banner before the start of the Nov. 7 game when Newton noticed the sign and grabbed it. The 8-by-3-foot banner had a green map of North Carolina, the Green Bay logo and the words “North Carolina Cheesehead.”
The Dobs family has said they thought the quarterback was joking, but quickly realized he was not 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.
Panthers created a new banner for Dobs and shipped it to his house.