Former Carolina Panther partnering with police to jump-start change

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - During a joint press conference with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Wednesday, former Carolina Panther Colin Cole announced his efforts to team up with CMPD to raise money to fund their programs aimed at unifying the community.

The last time we caught up with Cole he was preparing for his life after football. That life is now underway.

Cole has started The Cole Group, an organization focused on funneling funds to the CMPD through local events and fundraisers.

The first of those fundraisers tees off October 3 at the Emerald Lake Golf Club with a well sponsored golf tournament.

His goal is to give back to a community he "adopted" while anchoring the defensive line for the Carolina Panthers starting in 2012. Cole ended his career with the Panthers and has been working hard to help the community after his pro football career wrapped up.

Cole admitted there is still a "disconnect between police and the community," and also stressed how the community can't do enough to police itself as well.

The former defensive tackle also weighed in on the #TakeAKnee movement sweeping the NFL.

"My biggest pride and biggest energies come from the fact that I have five current and former family members that have served in our military and currently serve on police forces in certain cities," said Cole.

"But I also understand fully where the men taking a knee stand and I understand why. Honestly there is not enough that can be done to bring about awareness and injustices that go on in this country… I'm proud of the men that have done what they've done."

Cole said he is also proud of Colin Kaepernick for taking an initial stand when it wasn't popular.

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