When Jerry Richardson announced his intent to sell the Carolina Panthers, he made it clear that he wouldn’t field offers until after the last game of the season was played. With a 10-4 record and Cam Newton as the quarterback, Richardson is hoping to get a Super Bowl ring on his way out. That hasn’t stopped Sean “Diddy” Combs from making his interest in buying the team and ending Colin Kaepernick’s unemployment known. Now that Kaepernick and Steph Curry have also expressed interest in NFL team ownership, it looks possible that the NFL could see its first black-owned team.
On Sunday night, soon after Richardson posted his letter to the Panthers team website, Diddy made an announcement of his own. The Bad Boy Entertainment owner took to Twitter and started to rally. Whether his bid will be successful will remain unknown for at least a few more weeks.
“I would like to buy the @Panthers. Spread the word. Retweet!” Diddy tweeted, before adding another social media message that said, “There are no majority African American NFL owners. Let’s make history.”
To further prove his worth as the future owner of the Carolina Panthers, Diddy tweeted a picture of himself that was taken back in 2003.
He wrote, “This picture was taken back in 2003. This is God’s work. It’s time!! ATTN all @NFL owners, it’s time for diversity!! It’s time for Black ownership!! The time is now. Let’s make it happen!!”
According to Essence, when Diddy started talking about his desire to buy the Carolina Panthers, he also mentioned that he’d sign Colin Kaepernick. Diddy has been championing for Kaepernick to get an NFL contract from one of the many teams who desperately need help in the quarterback position.
Quickly, both Kaepernick and Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry chimed in that they want in on an ownership deal with Diddy. The collaboration would definitely make team ownership easier to obtain since Diddy’s net worth trumps everyone else at a whopping $820 million.
Jerry Richardson purchased the Panthers for $206 million back in 1993, and the team played their inaugural season in 1995. Certainly, the team is worth much more these days since Richardson is said the be worth around $1 billion now. Not to mention that Forbes has reported that anyone looking to purchase an NFL team needs to have at least 30 percent to put down, meaning roughly $700 million for the average NFL team. The current valuation for the Panthers is $2.3 billion, making that down payment right on the money.
With such quick interest in the Carolina Panthers, it looks like the team might just get new owners in the offseason, unlike many other NFL teams that are currently on the market. Keep in mind that there are minority shareholders that still have a stake in the team.
Currently, the Belks (the same ones who just sold their popular department store chain) own 5 percent of the team already. The Levines (who started the Family Dollar chain and sold it to the Dollar Tree for $9.1 billion) own 5 percent of the Panthers. The largest minority stakeholders are Steve and Jerry Wordsworth. It’s still unknown if any of them want to upgrade their share of the NFL team, and since they are already owners, are local, and have the funds to do so, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise.
Money isn’t the only hoop that the future owner of the Carolina Panthers will have to jump through to get approval from the NFL and the other team owners. While the future of the Carolina Panthers is still in question, it looks like there is plenty of interest coming in. Allowing a group made of Diddy, Steph Curry, and Colin Kaepernick to purchase the team and become the first-ever black NFL team owners would make history.