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To All My Fans And The City of Charlotte

To all my fans and the city of Charlotte,

It’s hard to accurately express all the emotions I have felt over the last several weeks. This has been a difficult time for me and my family, but you all have been a bright spot for us. We have been so humbled and blessed by the love you all have shown in so many ways; it has truly been amazing! We are so thankful to have spent that last thirteen years in such a wonderful city. It has been so great that a few years ago we decided that Charlotte would be our permanent home.

When I was drafted to the Panthers in 2001, I was just a young kid without a clue about what it meant to be a professional athlete. You all have seen me change and grow over the years, and I have such gratitude for the support I have received. It’s been a journey and I have learned so much along the way, not only about being an athlete, but also what it means to be a better husband, father and man in general.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this community. You have done so much for me, it’s important for me to be involved and give back to you all.
It’s been a privilege to play for an amazing owner, whom I respect and look up to in more ways than one. He and Mrs. Richardson have been so good to me and my family, and I’m so thankful for all they have done for me. Special thanks to all my teammates over the years – I have learned a lot from you guys and will never be able to replace my time with you. As I said before, I will always consider myself a Carolina Panther, and I look forward to the day when I get to come home to celebrate my career and retire in the city I’ve grown to love and appreciate very much.

God bless,
Steve Smith

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