Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced Sunday that he would put his team up for sale at the end of the season after the National Football League said it was opening an investigation into accusations of workplace misconduct against him.
"I believe that it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership," Richardson, 81, said in a statement on the team's website. "Therefore, I will put the team up for sale at the end of this NFL season."
Two days ago, the team said it was conducting an internal investigation into Richardson's conduct, but did not specify the nature of the allegations. Sports Illustrated says they include sexual harassment of multiple female employees and a racial slur.
Hours before Richardson's announcement on Sunday, NFL.com reported that the league was opening its own investigation into the allegations.
In the statement on Friday announcing the internal investigation, the Panthers said the team was "committed to ensuring a safe, comfortable and diverse work environment where all individuals, regardless of sex, race, color, religion, gender, or sexual identity or orientation, are treated fairly and equally."
The Panthers announced that former White House chief of staff to President Clinton, Erskine Bowles — who is a minority owner of the team — would oversee the investigation by law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan.
SI, quoting unnamed sources, detailed what it claims were inappropriate comments made by Richardson about how female employees fit into their jeans, as well as "Multiple female employees [recalling] to SI that Richardson asked them if he could personally shave their legs," the magazine said.
" ... on multiple occasions when Richardson's conduct has triggered complaints—for sexual harassment against female employees and for directing a racial slur at an African American employee—he has taken a leaf from a playbook he's deployed in the past: Confidential settlements were reached and payments were made to complainants, accompanied by non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses designed to shield the owner and the organization from further liability and damaging publicity," according to SI.
Unlike Congress, it seems Richardson wont be able to get away with secret harassment settlement claims bound by NDAs. And who would be willing to buy the Cardiac Cats?
Diddy, of course. And his first hire would be Colin Kaepernick.
Hip hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs said Sunday night he’s interested in buying the Carolina Panthers and signing quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been unemployed this season after kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.
Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced Sunday he would be selling the team after the 2017 season, just hours after Sports Illustratedpublished accusations of sexual misconduct from former employees. Richardson also allegedly used a racial slur about a team scout.
Diddy took to Twitter soon after the Panthers announced the upcoming sale, declaring his desire to own a team and increase diversity among NFL ownership.
In a video posted to Instagram on Sunday night, Combs said “I would be the best NFL owner you could imagine. I will immediately address the Colin Kaepernick situation, and put him in the running for next year’s starting quarterback. It’s just competition baby, it’s just competition.”
We'll see who owns the Panthers next season. Having grown up in North Carolina I've been a Panthers fan since the beginning, but I'm not going to lie and say Richardson has been a good owner. The team has made it to two Super Bowls despite him, so hopefully the new owner won't be a complete jackass who happens to have several hundred million bucks lying about.
Actually Diddy's probably right that he might be the best owner we could hope for given that criteria.