Carolina Panthers fans, it’s hard to imagine how you could be more classy. Unless it would be kicking puppies. Our story begins at the Moosehead Grill in south Charlotte, as most disturbing stories do. That’s where Marine Garrett Carnes of Mooresville arrived with some family members for celebration and fine dining after his beloved Cowboys had beaten the Panthers, 19-17, on Sunday. Carnes, who lost both legs in Afghanistan and is confined to a wheelchair, was forced to leave the restaurant with his group after a verbal altercation with Panthers fans, reports the Charlotte Observer.
“Courtney [Carnes] was the first one out of the vehicle, and while she was getting Garrett’s wheelchair, one guy immediately started yelling at her,” said Brett Coburn, who described the man’s comments as “taunts.”
Coburn said that when the group reached the front door, the fan was waiting for them.
“He was standing at the door, and he started harassing us because of the Cowboys jerseys,” Coburn said.
He said the fan told Garrett Carnes, “Don’t use your wheelchair as a crutch.”
Wow. The Observer also talked with the Panthers fan in question, who did not want to give his name, according to the paper.
“Moosehead is a Panthers’ bar,” he said. “When they came, wearing the Cowboys’ jerseys, I started up on them. I asked them if they were Cowboys fans who lived in North Carolina.”
“I’m not going to fight someone in a wheelchair,” the fan said.
“I’m sorry it happened,” the fan said Thursday. “It just got out of control. I wish I could talk to him (Garrett).”
Members of the Carnes-Coburn party tried to “defend ourselves verbally,” Brett Coburn said.
“We were going back and forth,” the fan said. “Yes, it got out of control.”
It hardly needs to be said, but when you see a military veteran, the only uniform that matters is the one he wore overseas.