Cam Newton's banner grab not worthy of all that attention, Panthers say

Unbeaten Panthers find silliness in banner story (2:10)

ESPN Panthers reporter David Newton discusses Carolina's reaction Cam Newton tearing down the Packers banner at Sunday's game. (2:10)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ryan Kalil typically protects Cam Newton with his blocking, but the Carolina Panthers center has his quarterback covered on social media, too.

After seeing the uproar over Newton taking down a fan's Packers banner at Bank of America Stadium prior to Carolina's 37-29 victory Sunday, Kalil tweeted:

Kalil said he was upset when he read social media postings that painted Newton as a criminal for taking down the banner. Instead, Kalil said, Carolina's 8-0 record should get the attention.

"I just thought it was a silly story, so I added some silly commentary to it," Kalil told ESPN.com on Monday.

The banner was placed on the wall by Mike Dobs, an Army veteran who lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Dobs told the Fayetteville Observer on Monday that Newton snatched the banner "out of our hands." Dobs said he then went to security and reported that Newton "stole it." The banner had a green map of North Carolina with the Green Bay log in the middle and the words "North Carolina Cheeseheads" in the middle.

Coach Ron Rivera said on Monday the team is handling the matter.

"It's still a side story as far as I'm concerned," Rivera said on Monday. "It's being taken care of. Cam's been talked to and we are reaching out to the other party, and that's where we are.

"As far as I'm concerned, we're moving on to get ready for our next football game against the Titans, and I'll be happy to talk about that." Kalil admitted he never saw Newton take down the sign and really didn't suggest he take it down. But he didn't mind rallying several teammates to join his support of Newton.

Among the Panthers players playing the banner blame game:

Then there was cornerback Bene Benwikere, who actually was with Newton just before he ripped down the banner.

"I really was talking to Cam about it when I came out on the field," Benwikere said. "I saw the banner and was like: 'Wow. I wish we could rip that down.'" Benwikere is glad Newton took action.

"I don't have a problem with it personally," he said. "When we go anywhere else, you don't really see Panthers banners hanging out anywhere. It's our home stadium. It's our field. We want to protect it.

"I don't see any reason why he's supposed to be a criminal or [this was] vandalism or anything like that." Rivera wouldn't elaborate on what the Panthers are doing to handle the situation or whether he agreed with Newton's actions.

"I'm not going to talk about it," he said. "I'm moving on. I'm here to talk about yesterday and the Titans."