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The Captain brings a major gift to the Columbia Arts Academy

Former Gamecock Captain Munnerlyn, who enjoyed a 10-year NFL career, was in Columbia for a special gift from the Panthers to a local small business.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — After an outstanding career at South Carolina, Captain Munnerlyn spent 10 seasons as an NFL defensive back with the majority of his time spent with the Carolina Panthers. 

Munnerlyn has not played since 2018 but still has yet to put in his retirement papers. But he is keeping busy with the team serving as an ambassador of sorts in various community events.

On Wednesday, Munnerlyn was in the Midlands at the Columbia Arts Academy (CAA) for a special presentation. The Panthers have teamed up with tech company Lenovo to give fans a chance to nominate their favorite small business for a chance to win a game-changing grand prize – a $100,000 advertising package with the Panthers during the NFL regular season. 

The Panthers received over 300 nominations of small businesses who deserve a helping hand after dealing with the pandemic since March of 2020.

Of the 10 finalists chosen, the Columbia Arts Academy made the list and Munnerly made a surprise visit to the Columbia Arts Academy with a check for $5,000 for Lenovo technology and solutions along with tickets to the Panthers' August 27 preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

The small business finalists will be recognized on-field during halftime of that game -and the grand prize winner will be chosen.

CAA director Marty Fort is a longtime Panthers' season ticket holder and he actually has a signed Munnerlyn jersey in his home. So, having Munnerlyn drop by to deliver a $5,000 prize was surreal.