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Panthers Star Greg Hardy

DEACTIVATED

Over Domestic Violence Conviction

9/14/2014 8:52 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0914-greg-hardy-getty-01The Carolina Panthers have decided to DEACTIVATE superstar defensive end Greg Hardy because of his domestic violence conviction -- a decision that was made by the team Sunday morning and it seems fairly obvious it's all because of the Ray Rice situation.

Back in July, a North Carolina judge found Hardy guilty of attacking his girlfriend and threatening her life during an altercation in May --  but the Panthers and the NFL decided not to punish Hardy while he appealed the decision and pursued a jury trial.

Translation -- THEY SAT ON THEIR HANDS AND DID NOTHING FOR MONTHS. 

But now, in the wake of the Ray Rice scandal -- and a public outcry against the NFL for taking too light of a stance against domestic violence -- the Panthers have decided to deactivate Hardy for today's game.

As for the incident, Hardy's ex had claimed he beat the living crap out of her and threatened to kill her during a jealous late-night rage.

The woman had testified that Hardy got angry that night when he heard a Nelly song at a nightclub -- which angered him because the woman had briefly dated the rapper when she was on a break from Hardy.

Story developing ...

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DeAngelo Williams

I'm Bambi's Worst Nightmare!

3/6/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

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DeAngelo Williams didn't just kill the Giants this year ... he also slaughtered some deer, turkey, rabbit and duck ... 'cause the Carolina Panthers running back is a hardcore hunting machine. 

"I hunt all year round," Williams tells TMZ Sports ... "In season, out of season. I hunt everything."

He's not kidding ... Williams documents his kills on social media -- posting photos of the animals he tracks down and shoots. 

But Williams insists he doesn't just hunt for the hell of it -- "I shoot to eat. If you kill it, you eat it. I tell my friends, if you kill a skunk, you eat it." 

“I make my own jerky. My specialty is deer jerky. My 3-year-old loves it.” 

The 30-year-old Arkansas native says it's all part of his obsession with nature -- "There’s no traffic, no people. Right before you pull the trigger you almost feel one with the animal.” 

"Last year I shot a 20 pound turkey!"

We reached out to the turkey for comment -- so far, no word back.

Carolina Panthers Star

I'm a Daddy Again!

Teammate Sends Mamaroo

3/5/2014 12:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0304_Graham-Gano_gettyIt's been a GREAT couple of weeks for Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano ... 'cause right before he signed his new $12 MILLION contract, his wife gave birth to their 2nd kid ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

Graham tells us ... right after his son was born (the couple's 2nd boy) ... some of his Panthers teammates sent fancy baby gifts to the house ... including a Mamaroo, courtesy of linebacker Chase Blackburn.  Apparently, babies love those things. 

Graham says ... even ex-teammates hooked baby Gano up with some fresh gear, including former Panthers defensive end Everett Brown -- who sent several boxes of gifts. 

As for how Gano plans to celebrate the new contract, Graham tells us he can't really go crazy because of the kid -- but he does have some bachelor parties coming up and hopes his wife will give him a break from baby duty to let him go.  

Yeah, good luck with that!! 

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DeAngelo Williams

Hooker Bust WON'T Ruin Super Bowl Week

1/30/2014 7:54 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Fear not NFL fans -- the giant prostitution sting in NYC will NOT ruin Super Bowl week ... so says Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams.

As we previously reported, cops in the Big Apple just busted a dozen hookers who had allegedly been advertising their "services" all over town ... a huge blow to people hoping to bang whores during the big weekend.

But Williams has a message to those who will affected by the sudden ho shortage -- it's ok, you'll get through it.

Check out the clip -- pretty funny stuff.

Adrian Peterson

Strong Fan Support

During Metrodome Arrival

10/13/2013 10:05 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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Adrian Peterson arrived to the Metrodome this morning with his game face on -- and fans waiting outside gave AP tons of love for showing up.

Peterson is set to face the Carolina Panthers any moment now -- and judging by the video ... fans inside the arena are gonna go OFF when AP hits the field.

As we previously reported ... Adrian insisted on playing in today's game following the death of his 2-year-old son and earlier today said, "God wants good to come from it."

He added, "We mourn and grieve but heaven had the baddest welcoming party for my son ... That knowledge gives me peace."

Cam Newton

Pulls a Dangerfield ...

Heads Back to School

1/15/2013 12:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton knows ... he's gotta have a backup plan if the whole NFL thing doesn't work out ... so he's heading back to college.

Newton -- who blew off school to become the #1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft -- has re-enrolled at Auburn University for the spring semester to continue working on his sociology degree.

FYI -- Newton signed a 4-year, $22 million contract with the Panthers when he first left Auburn ... and has undoubtedly racked up millions more through various endorsement deals.

Still, it's clear Newton knows you can't put a price on a good education ... and made the decision to go back.

A rep for the school told the Associated Press Cam won't be talking to the media about his decision because he just "wants to focus on school and be a normal student."

A normal student ... who can buy and sell the entire teaching staff.

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