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"Fire Rhule" chants ring out at Hornets game

Panthers fans frustrated with Carolina coach
Credit: AP
Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule watches during warm ups before an NFL football game between the Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — At the end of the Carolina Panthers final home game on Dec. 26, a collection of fans chanted "Fire Rhule," voicing continued frustration over the team's head coach, Matt Rhule.

After that game, a 32-6 loss to Tampa Bay, Rhule said he understood the fans' angst.

"To me it just shows people care," he said. "We're not winning. I have no problem with that. I think our fans have been great -- they support us -- and sometimes you need to be booed."

Despite not having any more home games, Panthers fans have found other platforms for the chant.

A chorus of "Fire Rhule" was loudly heard inside Spectrum Center during and after Wednesday's Hornets win, including in the background of Bally Sports postgame show.

Carolina is 5-11 heading in to its season finale at Tampa Bay on Sunday, going 2-11 after its 3-0 start.

In nearly two full seasons, Rhule's record is 10-22, the worst two-year start in franchise history.

Several Panthers players have publicly voiced support of Rhule in the closing weeks of the season.

Including perhaps the best player in team history.

"Coach Rhule is a great coach," Cam Newton said after the Bucs loss. "I heard the boos, I heard the chants. Last time I checked, Coach Rhule wasn't out there playing."

Defensive end Brian Burns was asked on Wednesday if he thought Rhule was the right coach to lead the Panthers in the future.

"One-hundred percent," he said.

Multiple reports say that Rhule's job is safe for 2022, though owner David Tepper has not publicly voiced his opinion yet.

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