Wrestler Ric Flair, a Charlotte resident, will not give an encore pep talk to the 49ers prior to Sunday's NFC divisional playoff game against the Panthers. Flair, who won heavyweight titles wrestling as "Nature Boy," alleges he's hesitant to travel to North Carolina after receiving death threats. The Charlotte Business Journal reports an outstanding warrant in Mecklenburg County might be what's keeping him out of the state.
Flair made headlines when he gave a pep talk to the 49ers prior to their wild card playoff win in Green Bay. Flair, who developed a Southern fan base in the ring, angered Panthers fans and players who celebrate wins with Flair's trademark "Woooooooooo" in the locker room.
Steve Smith was one of the Panthers who spoke out against Flair helping an NFL opponent.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he was surprised at the amount of vitriol Flair's possible visit generated.
“Ric’s a good man, and I’m excited that he’s friends with both of us,” Rivera said. “Ric’s a good dude. I’ve met him a couple of times and I’ve appreciated our conversations. It’s not that big a deal to me. I get it, I understand. And the best part about it is Ric doesn’t dress up and get on the field.”