Panthers owner Jerry Richardson accused of workplace misconduct

December 16, 2017

The Carolina Panthers announced late Friday that the team is conducting an internal investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct by owner and founder Jerry Richardson.

No details about the allegations have been released, and the Panthers said in a statement they wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the allegations because the matter is “under an ongoing legal review.”

“The Carolina Panthers and Mr. Richardson take these allegations very seriously and are fully committed to a full investigation and taking appropriate steps to address and remediate any misconduct,” team spokesman Steven Drummond said in a statement.

“The entire organization is fully committed to ensuring a safe, comfortable and diverse work environment where all individuals, regardless of sex, race, color, religion, gender, or sexual identity or orientation, are treated fairly and equally. We have work to do to achieve this goal, but we are going to meet it.”

Head coach Ron Rivera released a statement about the investigation Friday evening.

“I have had a strong relationship with Mr. Richardson during my time with the Panthers. I have enormous respect for the man, but will wait for the results of the investigation before making any judgment,” he said.

The investigation is being led by the outside international law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, LLP, and will be overseen by limited owner and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, the team said.

“Erskine Bowles is a trusted leader of unquestioned integrity. We look forward to this report, which we know will be honest and thorough,” Drummond said.

Richardson, 81, has owned the Panthers since they became the 29th team in the league. Owners voted unanimously to pick Carolina as an expansion franchise in 1993, and the Panthers took the field for the first time in the 1995 season.

Richardson, a Spring Hope native, attended Wofford College and played two seasons for the Indianapolis Colts.