Protesters Arrested for Rappelling Into Bank of America Stadium During NFL Game

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A protester hangs from a cable attached to the during a football game between the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 2. During the game, two activists climbed the arena and hung a sign mid-game. David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/TNS/Newscom

Four protesters were arrested on Monday evening for rappelling from the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, to unfurl a banner in protest of an energy company during an NFL football game.

A sign reading "BoA: Dump Dominion, WeAreCovePoint.org" was prominently displayed during the game, quickly gaining traction on social media and crashing the organization's website.

The protesters are from We Are Cove Point, a group which takes issue with a planned liquefied natural gas export facility in Cove Point, Maryland. The activists say Bank of America helped to finance Dominion Resources, the energy company in question. Bank of America did not reply to request for comment on the matter.

We Are Cove Point, which organized and financed the protest, is a Maryland-based activist organization. "We Are Cove Point pledges to reclaim Cove Point from Dominion and to fight to save their beautiful, tranquil and historic community using whatever tools are necessary including nonviolent resistance," the group says on its website. The organization says the terminal will emit over 20 tons of pollutants annually, use 210,000 gallons of water, and increase traffic to the small, rural community, thereby disrupting the environment.

"What we planned to do was continue resisting the construction of this terminal and the other infrastructure that comes along with it. One of the ways is direct action like what you saw tonight and others include law suits and reaching out to politicians," Kelly Caravan, a spokeswoman for the activists, tells Newsweek. "It has nothing to do with the specific teams. It is because of the Bank of America Stadium. Monday Night Football gets a lot of press coverage, we were hoping to reach as many people as possible."

Erica Madrid and John Nicholson purchased tickets to the game between the Panthers and Colts. Madrid, who is from D.C., has an activist interest in the economics of the facility, and Nicholson, from Pennsylvania, deals in activism surrounding the pipeline construction in that state.

Along with rapellers Madrid and Nicholson, David Baghdadi and Angela Vogel were arrested, though their role in the incident remains unclear. Madrid and Nicholson were charged with trespassing, resisting arrest and dropping an object at a sporting event." The pair were cut down by firefighters after successfully hanging the banner. Bail has been set at $1,500 each and We Are Cove Point hopes to crowd source the amount.

"Doing banner drops is something that our group has done from time to time but not on such a large scale," Caravan says. The activist group estimates 70,000 people in the stadium saw the sign, along with numerous others on social media and broadcasts of the game. Neither protestor was injured in the incident.

According to TV by the Numbers, Monday Night Football was the best watched show last week with millions of viewers. Though the banner was only up for a short time, thousands saw it.

Neither the NFL nor Bank of America have reached out to the activists in regards to the demonstration.