Former Carolina Panther owner Jerry Richardson recently finalized his deal to sell the team to hedge fund billionaire David Tepper. Richardson sold the team for an NFL record $2.275 billion dollars amidst his relatively recent allegations for misconduct in the workplace. The claims specifically were for sexual and racial misconduct within the Panthers organization. After a months-long investigation by a private investigator, Richardson received a league-record fine worth $2.75 million dollars by the NFL. This fine comes after independent investigator Marry Jo White found that the review of Richardson’s investigation found nothing to discredit the claims made by former disgruntled Panthers employees.
Even though Richardson is no longer apart of the Carolina Panthers organization, his legacy still remains as the Panthers have a statue of the founder outside the north gate of Bank of America stadium. The 13-foot statue of Richardson surrounded by two black panthers was placed back in 2016 as a birthday gift for Richardson’s 80th birthday from the minority owners of the Panthers.
Now that Richardson is no longer part of the team and will most likely be remembered as a disgrace due to his misconduct, where does that leave his statue? Should they remove it? Well, that can’t exactly happen. According to David Tepper himself, the statue must remain in Bank of America stadium due to Tepper signing a contract that said he must keep the statue as it is. Part of Richardson’s contract with Tepper obligated the new owner to keep the statue where it is. That being said, the statute will stay as a reminder of what a poor human being Jerry Richardson was as an NFL owner.
Eventually, just maybe, Tepper can find himself out of this particular fishy situation. Perhaps in a couple of years Tepper can somehow get the statue removed entirely or at the very least moved. I don’t see why Tepper could not relocate the statue to somewhere less prominent. Until then however, the statue will stay at the north gate for every Panther fan to see when going to see a game.