CHARLOTTE, Va. (AP) — Charlotte’s two professional sports franchises and two universities have canceled their partnerships with a North Carolina home security company after the firm’s CEO told an activist he should focus on black-on-black crime rather than the George Floyd protests.
CPI Security CEO Ken Gill issued an apology for his comments Saturday on Twitter, but it failed to stem the response from teams and athletic departments that had been sponsored by CPI.
A few hours after Gill apologized, the NFL’s Carolina Panthers said they were ending their relationship with CPI. The athletics programs at North Carolina State and the University of South Carolina followed suit on Sunday, as did the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets and the minor league Charlotte Knights.
The controversy began when Jorge Millares of Queen City Unity sent out a mass email calling for action in response to the death of George Floyd. Gill responded by telling Millares to “spend your time in a more productive way. … A better use of time, would be to focus on the black on black crime and senseless killing of our young men by other young men.”