Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers DE Charles Johnson has Twitter exchange with fan over Ferguson tweet

Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson said he has no regrets about a Twitter exchange he had with a fan who criticized Johnson for tweeting about the peaceful protests across the country Tuesday, a day after the rioting in Ferguson, Mo.

Johnson tweeted Tuesday night: “Witnessing something on TV for the first time. A group of people coming together.”

After the fan told Johnson on Wednesday to “keep your mouth shut and play football,” Johnson responded by tweeting, “boy stop KYS,” an abbreviation for a popular slang phrase “kill yourself.”

Johnson said he was referring to “kind, young sir” in the tweet, which was deleted later Wednesday.

“There’s nothing to really talk about,” Johnson told the Observer. “It wasn’t nothing, just tweeting.”

The Pittsburgh Steelers banned former Panthers safety Mike Mitchell from social media last week for sending strongly worded direct messages on Twitter to fans, one of whom he told to “kill yourself.”

Panthers coach Ron Rivera plans to talk with Johnson about the tweet. But Rivera said it’s regrettable Johnson was attacked for a positive comment.

“It’s social media. It’s unfortunate. But I think the situation at Ferguson is unfortunate and when somebody wants to make a comment in a positive light, I think it should be respected,” Rivera said. “And I think that’s what Charles was trying to do was make a positive statement.”