CHARLOTTE — The Carolina Panthers are on a roll – except when it comes to hoverboards.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera revealed Monday that he banned players from using the popular transportation devices inside team headquarters at Bank of America Stadium after catching some of them “drag-racing down the hallways.”
“We don’t them running around because we don’t want something crazy happening here,” Rivera said. “We’re trying to limit their exposure to injury.”
“Truthfully, somebody told me about them igniting so I went on YouTube and found them,” Rivera said. “They also showed the (videos) with people falling off, people making sharp turns and there was somebody standing there and running into them. I can’t imagine …”
Panthers tight end Ed Dickson said Rivera’s ban was enacted early in the season. Before then, Dickson had purchased a hoverboard and was one of a group of 25 players led by cornerback Bene Benwikere who made a ride from the stadium to a local food truck.
“We were like a band of brothers,” Dickson said. “I couldn’t be like, ‘I’m not going.’ It started with a couple of people and more kept coming.”
Dickson understands Rivera’s stance. Dickson also doesn’t allow his five-year-old son to use his hoverboard because of safety concerns.
“It’s too flimsy,” Dickson said. “If you don’t know what you’re doing you can fall off and hurt yourself pretty badly.”
Cam Newton was one of the Panthers players who used a hoverboard, but Dickson said he hasn’t seen the star quarterback bring one to the facility since Rivera’s mandate.
Despite the risks involves, a slew of NFL players – including those in Carolina — continue to use them. Rivera also knows his authority as an NFL head coach with Panthers players only goes so far.
All Rivera can do is hope none of them end up on YouTube themselves as Carolina prepares to host Arizona in Sunday’s NFC Championship game.