Panthers fans were not pleased at Sunday’s season opener when they didn’t receive their usual prompt for the “Keep Pounding” chant.
The chant normally comes on the team’s jumbo screen at some point during the game, but it was missing Sunday, prompting fans to voice their concerns and ask for it back.
Whoa wait, y’all weren’t screaming #KeepPounding before kickoff & in game? I know traditions can change & sometimes get replaced but “Keep Pounding” holds A LOT of meaning. With dads cancer, it meant so much to still get the Keep Pounding reminder from panther nation. https://t.co/TSPNmU32F9
— Courtney Rivera (@NFL2Ucla) September 15, 2021
A team spokesperson told The Observer on Wednesday that the chant was not shown on the video screens because the Panthers have been experimenting with different game-day experiences, such as the Hype Man and the virtual reality panther, which made its debut on the field Sunday.
The spokesperson said it was not a reflection of their dislike for the cheer or an attempt to keep fans from using it. The spokesperson pointed to the fact that they had the “Keep Pounding” drummer before the game, hitting the “Keep Pounding” drum.
“Keep Pounding is the fans’ chant,” the spokesperson said. “The fans own the chant.”
The chant will appear on the jumbo screen for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, but it’s possible there will be other games where it won’t be used as the Panthers continue to try different approaches.
The “Keep Pounding” slogan was inspired by former Panthers’ linebacker and later assistant coach Sam Mills, whose statue stands outside of Bank of America Stadium. Mills died of intestinal cancer in August 2005 at age 46, two years after he was diagnosed with the disease.
Before the team’s 2003 Super Bowl run, after finding about about his cancer diagnosis, Mills made an emotional plea to his team in a speech before a playoff game and repeatedly used the words “Keep Pounding.”
Those two words have been used as the team slogan ever since.