Last Saturday, Ric Flair made a surprise appearance at the 49ers' hotel ahead of their wild-card matchup with the Packers. It seemed innocuous enough except that Flair is a BIG DEAL in the Carolinas -- and Charlotte, in particular -- and his pre-game pep talk didn't go over so well with some Panthers fans and players.
It doesn't help that Carolina will host San Francisco in the NFC Divisional round this weekend.
Wide receiver Steve Smith said, “As a guy who actually has a Ric Flair robe I'm real disappointed in seeing that." And Flair's representatives said that the wrestler had been the target death threats from some fans.
And that's one of the reasons Flair won't be in attendance Sunday. The other: According to the Charlotte Business Journal, Flair still has an outstanding warrant in Mecklenburg County, N.C., which includes Charlotte.
"On July 3, Mecklenburg District Court Judge Christy T. Mann signed an order for the arrest of one Richard Fliehr on contempt of court violations," CBJ reported Thursday. "Legal documents show the former wrestler failed to meet the terms of a June 18 order.
"That order called for the wrestler to pay $32,352.51 in unpaid post-separation support and legal fees by 5 p.m. on June 27 and maintain support of his estranged spouse's car lease and insurance and health insurance, documents show.
"Of note: the court order says Flair/Fliehr's failure to meet the deadline means he would be required to turn himself in and 'shall remain in the custody of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff until he pays all sums required…'”
So, right. In addition to the death threats there's also the little matter of Flair owing more than $32,000 before he can legally set foot in Mecklenburg County again. Maybe Smith can auction off his Ric Flair robe to help raise money for the cause (Requisite: WOOOO!).
* via The Big Lead