Charlotte tie gets go-ahead
Tomorrow's NFL game in Charlotte between the Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings will go ahead as planned despite two nights of violent protests in North Carolina's largest city.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency during Wednesday night's rioting, sparked after Keith Scott, 43, was shot dead the previous day by a black police officer outside a Charlotte apartment complex.
"We are planning to play the game as scheduled on Sunday," the league said in a statement.
"We are monitoring events in Charlotte and have been in communication with local officials and authorities, and both the Carolina Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings."
One man was critically wounded by a gunshot during Wednesday's rioting, and at least eight more civilians and four police officers were injured and 44 people arrested for charges ranging from assault to failure to disperse. Many of the protesters dispute the official account of Scott's death. Police contend that he was carrying a gun when he approached officers and ignored repeated orders to drop it.
Scott's family and a witness have said he was holding a book, not a firearm, when he was killed.
Carolina Panthers president Danny Morrison said in a statement: "We are in contact with government officials, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the NFL.
"We are continuing to monitor events as we prepare for Sunday's home game."
Meanwhile, rookie Jacoby Brissett, making his first NFL start, got plenty of help from the visiting Texans in the New England Patriots' 27-0 rout of Houston on Thursday night.
Brissett, playing for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo, who was playing for the suspended Tom Brady, ran a bootleg 27 yards for a touchdown and managed the game well in his debut, as the Patriots improved to 3-0 during Brady's four-game Deflategate absence.
The Texans (2-1) fumbled away two kick-offs, leading to two New England touchdowns, and were also guilty of an interception. LeGarrette Blount scored from a yard and then broke a 41-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. Stephen Gostkowski kicked two field goals.