The owner of the Carolina Panthers is selling the team amid workplace misconduct allegations. However, the question is what happens next?
CHARLOTTE — The Carolina Panthers defeated the Green Bay Packers 31-24 in Aaron Rodgers’ comeback game — however, the story surrounding the team in the post-game were anything but their on-field performance. Many players faced questioned about an ongoing investigation of alleged workplace misconduct allegations against the owner and founder of the team, Jerry Richardson. Later on in the evening, Richardson announced that he’s selling the team at the end of the season.
“I believe that it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership,” Richardson said in a statement via Panthers.com. “Therefore, I will put the team up for sale at the conclusion of this NFL season.”
Richardson’s statement didn’t mention the investigation or any of the allegation against him. However, he thanked the fanbase and wants everyone involved to remain focus on the team’s main goal.
“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,” Richardson said.
Things starting to Unravel:
On Friday, the Carolina Panthers announced they were doing an internal investigation into Richardson for alleged workplace misconduct. Today, Sports Illustrated reported that Jerry Richardson and/or the Panthers organization made multiple confidential payouts for workplace misconduct: this includes sexual harassment and the use of a racial slur.
Steven Drummond, Carolina Panthers spokesman, told reporters he couldn’t comment on the SI story. In addition, players spoke about Richardson after the game and reference their personal dealings with him.
“I heard about it, but I haven’t really dug into it,” Cam Newton, Panthers quarterback, said at the podium after defeating the Green Bay Packers. “I just recently seen the internal investigation about all that.
He continued, “One thing about it man, Mr. Richardson has been an unbelievable source in my life. I can’t really speak on nobody else.”
Newton spoke at great length about his relationship with Richardson and how he was about to confide in him.
“I found a place of refuge with Mr. Richardson,” Newton said. “I really haven’t dug into the story. But I know personally for me, he’s giving me an opportunity to make a big impact in my family.”
Newton did say to the press following the game that these are “extremely serious” allegations, and he was only recalling his encounters with Richardson.
“I don’t take that lightly. I was just telling you my personal experiences with Mr. Richardson and how he has had such a father-like role to a lot of players in that locker room that’s present and past,” Newton said.
It’s worth mentioning it is unclear what happens next for the Panthers. Earlier today, the NFL announced it will launch an investigation into the matter. Originally, the Panthers were conducting their own internal investigation but then asked the league to step in. Additionally, many players were originally unaware that Richardson is planning on selling the team. Will this situation get worse before it gets better?