Panthers Cut Player After Video Surfaces Of Him Partying Mask-less In South End


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Hawkins is off the team after video surfaced of him and other people dancing inside Nikko Japanese restaurant in South End Saturday night. Instagram video compiled by Queen City Nerve publisher Justin LaFrancois shows few people wearing masks or physically distancing.

We reached out to the Mecklenburg County Health Department to see if it’s aware of the incident, and have not heard back.

A man who lives above the restaurant says the entire thing is irresponsible. Tom Stolz tells us, “There’s a lot of people in South End that don’t seem to be taking it seriously. But you know, I understand people want to open their restaurant back up but that seems to be a little ridiculous on a Saturday.”

Nikko’s management released a statement saying in part, “We are currently investigating the incident to determine exactly what happened, and if we determine that all guidelines were not followed, we will take corrective action to ensure that all of our guests will have a safe dinning experience.”

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule would not say whether the Nikko incident had anything to do with the decision to cut Hawkins.

Our question of the night: does the punishment fit the crime?

This episode’s panel features:
WCCB TV’s Morgan Fogarty
WCCB News @ Ten anchor Drew Bollea
WCCB News Edge contributor Ashley Anderson