Carolina Panthers coach Dom Capers said Sunday that an incident in which quarterback Kerry Collins allegedly referred to a teammate with a racial slur was a “serious matter” and that Collins had apologized to the players involved.
“I know that Kerry regrets his comments, and we’re basically moving forward,” Capers said.
Three days before suffering a broken jaw against the Denver Broncos, Collins reportedly was involved in two incidents with teammates while celebrating the last night of training camp in Spartanburg, S.C.
Numerous team sources, who asked not to be identified, told The Charlotte Observer that Collins was given a bruised left eye when hit by offensive tackle Noberto Davidds-Garrido at a bar on Aug. 6. There was no inidcation as to what caused the altercation.
The sources said Collins also used an racial epithet that offended whide receiver Muhsin Muhammad and other African American players later in the night at the team dormitory at Wofford.
Neither player could be reached for comment Sunday. On Saturday, Collins said that he had been advised by general manager Bill Polian not to discuss the situation.
Capers was asked Sunday whether Collins had a drinking problem.
“That’s really not for me to judge,” Capers said. “The only thing I can say about Kerry Collins is he’s never missed a team meeting, a practice or a function other than last year he misread the itinerary and came half an hour late to the team plane.”
Of the incidents, Capers said, “We deal with those things internally and we don’t discuss the specifics of internal team matters.
“We gathered the group together, we had interaction and there were apologies made and, I think to the satisfication of all involved.”
Aug. 25, 1997