Owner To Sell Carolina Panthers

Jerry Richardson, the owner of the Carolina Panthers, is selling the team because of misconduct at the workplace, and now the team has begun an investigation against Richardson.

AJ Freithoffer, Managing Editor, Sports Editor

Jerry Richardson is the founder and the only owner of the Panthers in the 24 year history of the team. According to the New York Times, “Just days after employees at NFL Network were accused of sexual harassment, the Carolina Panthers said Friday that the team had begun an investigation into ‘allegations of workplace misconduct’ made against the teams owner Jerry Richardson.” The team is not doing the investigation by themselves;they hired an “outside counsel” to handle the investigation for them. Richardson’s investigation brings a focus into workplace harassment, especially how this is happening in the “country’s wealthiest, most powerful [sic] sports league.” Richardson has announced that he will be selling the team after this season. According to the New York Times, Richardson  has assumed a low profile recently, and for years traveled in the inner circle of the leagues business. He is the lone former NFL player within the leagues ownership fraternity.  

According to The New York Times,he team hired a law firm with the name Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan because they needed to look into the accusations that were made against Richardson. According to The New York Times, Richardson is the 81-year-old owner of the Panthers and he has been accused of both harassing female employees and of racial discrimination. He said he will sell the team after this season, and will then distance himself from the league and those women he reportedly groped and violated. They also hired Erskine Bowles, a previous Clinton administration official and a minority owner of the team, to oversee the investigation, according to The New York Times. Bowles was also the White House chief of staff when Bill Clinton was our president in 1997 and 1998. According to The New York Times, Bowles worked for the investigation when Clinton had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, who was a White House intern at the time. Richardson’s investigation was first reported by ESPN, the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, about how an NFL Network employee filed an amended complaint in a lawsuit that accused six current NFL Network employees, including five former NFL players who have all been suspended, for sexual harassment and assault . According to The New York Times, “The NFL updated its personal conduct policy in 2014, expanding the guidelines and penalties to cover not just players, but all employees. The league also set up its own investigative unit to look into claims of misconduct off the field.”

Richardson actually played in the NFL for two seasons in 1959 and 1960. After that, he was a restaurant magnate and he ran a food service company, according to The New York Times. In 1993, he was awarded an NFL expansion franchise then two years later, in 1995, the Carolina Panthers was an official NFL football team. Richardson has gone through several health scares, including prostate cancer and a heart transplant in 2009. Richardson’s two sons, Mark and Jon Richardson, also played for the Panthers, but they both left when speculation arose about who would take over the franchise. Once Richardson dies, the team will be sold according to various news reports.

The Carolina Panthers are being sold after this season and this is because of their owner Jerry Richardson, Richardson is the one who made the decision to sell the team and he is going through with his choice. Nobody knows who the team will be sold to yet, but the end of the season will bring us the answer.