Carolina TopCats Cheerleaders are the official cheerleading squad of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. The TopCats perform a variety of dance moves during home games at Bank of America Stadium, the home stadium of the Panthers.
Auditions for the TopCats are typically held annually in April, which also take place at Bank of America Stadium. The group makes appearances at various events, as well as corporate appearances. The squad's staff includes Richelle Williams, Cheerleader Manager and Choreographer. As of 2016, the squad currently features 31 members. The squad also has a "Junior TopCats" program, where girls from across the Carolinas participate in three clinics and learn a halftime routine to perform with the TopCats during a Panthers home game.
Controversy ensued in November 2005 when two Topcats allegedly had sex with each other in a bar in the Channel District of Downtown Tampa, Florida. Both of them were drunk and had been unable to leave the bar. One of the cheerleaders, who was underage for drinking, hit a patron in the face and was violent and rude towards police that attempted to apprehend them. She also allegedly gave officers a driver's license that belonged to a different member of the squad who wasn't in Tampa at the time. She was later charged with battery and giving a false name. The other was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, and was later released on a $750 bail. Both were eventually removed from the squad on November 7 for violating a code that they signed which bans conduct that can be considered embarrassing to the Panthers.
- Kimberly Coon, (2009), contestant on The Bachelor Season 15 and spokeswoman for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
- FOX Charlotte (2011-04-13). "Carolina Panthers to Hold TopCats Cheerleader Auditions | Charlotte News | Weather | Carolina Panthers | Bobcats | FOX Charlotte | Local News". FOX Charlotte. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
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- "Carolina Panthers | TopCats Appearances". Panthers.com. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
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- "Carolina Panthers | Junior TopCats". Panthers.com. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- "Top Five Cheerleading Scandals Of All Time". Bleacher Report. 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
- "Two Panthers cheerleaders dismissed - NFL - ESPN". ESPN.com. 2005-11-08. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
- "Two Panthers cheerleaders arrested in Tampa bar scrum". USA Today. 2005-11-08. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
- Busdeker, Jon (2011-02-16). "Newest Miss Sprint Cup is Orlando native". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2015-12-19.
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