CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) — The Carolina Panthers have cut ties with longtime sponsor CPI Security after a racially insensitive email surfaced that was sent from the company’s CEO, team officials say.
Officials say the offensive and insensitive email from CPI Security CEO Ken Gill was sent in response to an email sent from the leader of a local community group called Queen City Unity.
The original email sent from Jorge Millares on behalf of the executive director to Mayor Vi Lyles, the Charlotte City Council, and the City Manager’s Office was regarding the troubling CMPD video that surfaced earlier this week of officers cornering in peaceful protesters and then releasing tear gas on them.
The video has led to an investigation by SBI and police Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney said he was concerned about the video.
The email called for the ‘demilitarization of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, the immediate termination of the police officers.’
“Please spend your time in a more productive way. A better use of time would be to focus on the black on black crime & senseless killing of our young men by other young men,” Gill wrote in response according to a Queen City Facebook post.
CPI has since apologized for the comments after backlash. A number of CPI employees walked out and resigned, according to Queen City Unity’s Facebook page.
The CPI fallout continued on Sunday with the University of South Carolina, and North Carolina State University athletics both saying they are ending their partnerships effective immediately.
CPI has a presence in the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Georgia and numerous players and coaches have appeared in CPI commercials over the years.
CPI has a robust list of clients including Wendy’s, Five Guys, and Autobell Car Wash.