WWE star "Nature Boy" Ric Flair is a Carolina native, but when he paid a visit to give a pep talk to the San Francisco 49ers before their NFL Wild Card game last weekend, a lot of Carolina fans felt betrayed. According to prowrestling.com on Jan. 9, some Panthers fans have made death threats towards Ric Flair.
As a result of the death threats, Flair announced that he will not attend the NFL playoff game between the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers this weekend. Flair is a season ticket holder for the Panthers.
Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith was one of the players who spoke out about Flair giving the 49ers a pep talk, saying it was an insult and he burned his bridges with the Carolina football team. San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said the entire situation was stupid and the thought that a person can only like one sports team is ridiculous.
Harbaugh said that fans can like and support as many teams as they want.
However, as is the case with many rabid professional sports fans, they would rather fight than listen to reason. Flair's talent agent Melinda Morris Zanoni, of Legacy Talent and Entertainment, said that she understands passionate fans, but the death threats and "course language" is scaring off a number of the company's interns.
Interestingly, it turns out that the reason that Ric Flair went to talk to the San Francisco 49ers was because the team contacted the WWE, who then sent Flair to talk to the team. "Wrestlemania 31" will take place in San Francisco in 2015. However, thanks to the Carolina Panthers death threats, Flair won't attend the game. As Flair himself said, “What can I say? I’ve always been a very good heel!”