After the current NFL season, Jerry Richardson is going to sell the Carolina Panthers. The longtime owner and founder of the football team is the latest to fall after a variety of sexual misconduct allegations were uncovered including multiple confidential settlements with former employees due to his alleged behavior.
Jerry Richardson made his intent to sell the team clear in a letter published to the Carolina Panthers website. In his statement, Richardson failed to mention the sexual misconduct accusations that have been piling up for the last few days. However, the timing of his letter makes it hard to argue that the shocking claims made against the Panthers owner played heavily into his decision.
Jerry Richardson is still hoping to leave with a Super Bowl ring
In his goodbye letter, Richardson waxed poetic about how bringing an NFL team to Charlotte was his dream. Then he went on about how great the Panthers are doing and what an impact on the community that they have. Then he laid out the terms of the sale of his beloved team
Richardson made it clear that he’s not fielding offers for the Carolina Panthers until the current season is over. His main focus is to get the team to the Super Bowl despite the distraction of the sexual misconduct claims against him. With a 10-4 record, they may have a chance too.
Jerry Richardson’s decision to sell the Panthers came as a shock because he’s the only person to have ever owned the team. Richardson created the Panthers in 1995, forming the first NFL team to call Charlotte their home. His history with the team is simple — he is the team. And now all of that is about to change.
The allegations against Jerry Richardson
It all started with a Sports Illustrated expose of the Carolina Panthers owner. The popular sports site published a Harvey Weinstein-esque report on their findings after digging into the personal and work life of Jerry Richardson.
What they found is that multiple payouts have been made by the Panthers’ owner. Richardson was accused of inappropriate workplace behavior, mostly based on the offensive language he was accused of using with female employees. He was also accused of using a racial slur at a Panthers scout who is African American.
Though highly inappropriate, others who worked within the Panthers organization were said to be aware of it and often joked about their bosses’ behavior. It also seemed to spawn more inappropriate behavior among workmates who would then tease female employees about whether or not Richardson was harassing them.
The report about Jerry Richardson came out on Friday and the Carolina Panthers issued their no comment the same day. They also launched an immediate investigation of Richardson’s workplace behavior that was taken over by the NFL.
Just two days after the sexual misconduct scandal broke, Richardson announced that he was selling the team, ending speculation about how he might respond to the workplace misconduct claims. With the original owner of the Carolina Panthers leaving and no idea as to who might be interested in buying the team, the Panthers’ future is uncertain and remain that way until the 2017-18 NFL season is over.