CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith says the NFL has "dropped the ball" on its new policy that forbids players from sitting or taking a knee on the field during the national anthem.

Smith is upset because he feels like the ruling has created a "false narrative" surrounding the message Colin Kaepernick was trying to convey. Smith says the protest was always about police brutality and never a slight on the military.

Smith, acquired in an offseason trade with the Eagles, denounced the league's ruling Tuesday following Carolina's practice - its first since it was announced last week at the NFL owners meetings.

He says the restrictions make it seem like everything Kaepernick, Eric Reid and other protesters did was in vein.