Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, amid allegations of workplace misconduct, announced Sunday night in a letter on the team website that he plans to put the NFL team he founded up for sale after the 2017 season.
The letter came after Sports Illustrated published a story reporting the Panthers settled with at least four former employees regarding inappropriate workplace behavior by Richardson.
“I believe that it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership,” Richardson wrote. “Therefore, I will put the team up for sale at the conclusion of this NFL season. We will not begin the sale process, nor will we entertain any inquiries, until the very last game is played.”
The SI article detailed accusations made against Richardson that include sexual harassment of multiple women and the use of a racial slur toward a scout who has since left the team.
The NFL on Sunday announced that it was taking over the investigation into the allegations that the Panthers announced they were conducting on Friday.
Richardson, 81, allegedly made verbal comments about women’s appearances, inappropriately touched female employees and made advances to women that included asking whether he could shave their legs and for them to give him foot rubs.
Along with the allegation of using a racial slur that led to a settlement with the scout, SI noted comments made by Richardson about black players’ appearances and his threat to discipline players who addressed social issues. According to SI, Richardson and the Panthers reached confidential settlements with complainants that included nondisclosure and nondisparagement clauses. The SI report describes the settlements’ value as “significant.”
Sean “Diddy” Combs, whom Forbes estimates to be worth $820 million, quickly expressed interest in buying the Panthers. Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, who went to high school in Charlotte and college in Davidson, North Carolina, also weighed in.
Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick tweeted a response to Diddy’s interest in the Panthers on Monday morning:
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SOURCE: ESPN, David Newton