Jerry Richardson to put Panthers up for sale at season's end

18 December, 2017, 03:41 | Author: Elena Meyer
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The NFL has taken over a workplace misconduct investigation into Richardson at the request of the Panthers, who announced Friday that they were looking into accusations made against the owner.

The Panthers posted a letter from Richardson on their website saying in part, "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 National Football League season".

CBS Sports writes that the team is using an outside law firm to conduct an internal investigation of Richardson. They said that Richardson had reached four settlements over his workplace misconduct, all of which required confidentiality from the victims. The NFL said through a spokesman that it will conduct the investigation and expects to retain outside counsel, but declined further comment.

The investigation against the team's only owner in franchise history is being led by global law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, LLP, and will be overseen by Bowles, who is a minority owner.

A native of Spring Hope, North Carolina, the 81-year-old Richardson has owned the franchise since they were granted existence in October 1993.

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The team's statement said the Panthers and Richardson take the allegations "very seriously" and are "fully committed to a full investigation", along with appropriate measures to address any misconduct.

Confirmation of the investigation also appeared on NFL.com, which cited NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

Members of the organization have been mostly quiet on the situation, although coach Ron Rivera said in a statement he has "enormous respect for the man, but will wait for the results of the investigation before making any judgment".

The Panthers began play two years later in 1995. SI reported that it reviewed one such legal document that appeared to be signed by Richardson and were told of other settlements by former employees on the condition of anonymity.

In 2014, when Richardson was under fire for initially allowing Greg Hardy to play while the Pro Bowl defensive end awaited a jury trial on domestic violence charges, the owner broke down in tears while being honored with the Echo Foundation's Award Against Indifference. Panthers no longer involved. Team president Danny Morrison resigned earlier this year and has not been replaced, and Jerry Richardson fired Dave Gettleman as the Panthers' general manager just before training camp and replaced him with former GM Marty Hurney.

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