Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has owned the franchise since its inception, but now he is putting it up for sale.
On Friday the Panthers announced that they were investigating Richardson for workplace misconduct. Then on Sunday, Sports Illustrated published a report from L. Jon Werthiem and Viv Bernstein that revealed several allegations of sexual harassment against Richardson, and one allegation of him using a racial slur against a black employee.
Also included in that report is that the employee, a former scout, and three women received monetary settlements in exchange for signing non-disclosure agreements. The NFL had announced on Sunday that it would be taking over the investigation into Richardson.
The Panthers have released a statement from Richardson, and in it he says that he will be selling the franchise at the end of the season. There is no mention of the investigation or the Sports Illustrated story. He was in the owner’s box for the Panthers’ Week 15 win against the Green Bay Packers.
Here are the final two paragraphs of the statement.
I believe that it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership. Therefore I will put the team up for sale at the conclusion of the NFL season. We will not begin the sale process, nor will we entertain any inquiries until the very last game is played. I hope everyone in this organization, both on and off the field, will be firmly focused on just one mission: to play and win the Super Bowl.
While I will no longer be the team owner, I will always be the Panthers Number One fan.