Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was one of the most recognizable owners in the NFL. Then a story broke Friday that he was accused of inappropriate workplace behavior, and 48 hours later the Panthers announced he was selling the team.
It has been a shocking turn of events that led to Richardson announcing on Sunday night that he’ll be selling the team at the end of this season. Amazingly enough, in a letter on the Panthers site to announce the decision, there is no mention of the allegations against him or the investigation into it. Richardson simply said “I believe that it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership.”
Richardson is the only owner the Panthers have ever had. He helped bring an expansion team to Charlotte for the 1995 season. Everything changed suddenly with the allegations, which Sports Illustrated said were for behavior of both a sexual and racial nature.
The NFL is in a tricky spot with the announcement. Richardson makes it clear the process of selling the team won’t begin until the end of the season, but the league will presumably continue to investigate the allegations and might not agree with Richardson setting the terms of the timetable for a sale.
At least one celebrity has expressed interest in purchasing the team:
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