After Workplace Misconduct Claims, Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson Under Investigation | Def Pen
Jerry Richardson
Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. (Photo: Jeremy Brevard, USA TODAY Sports)
[Update: Since the initial posting of this article, the NFL announced the league, not the team, would conduct the investigation. Sports Illustrated also reported that Jerry Richardson reached settlements with at least four Carolina Panther employees over workplace misconduct.]

Jerry Richardson is the only owner the Carolina Panthers franchise has ever known. On Friday, the Carolina Panthers acknowledged that owner Jerry Richardson was being investigated for workplace misconduct.

The team, via spokesman Steven Drummond, released a statement that said, in part:

“The Carolina Panthers and Mr. Richardson take these allegations very seriously and are fully committed to a full investigation … 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.”

The Panthers and Richardson, 81, will be an interesting test-case for how the sports world deals with workplace miscount the country continues its reckoning with violations in the workplace.

As for the investigation itself, it will be overseen by minority owner Erskine Bowles. Bowles served as White House Chief of Staff under Bill Clinton. Before that, he served as President of the University of North Carolina System. The investigation will be performed by the Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, LLP, law firm.

Panthers head coach, Ron Rivera, spoke to ESPN and said, “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.”

This isn’t the first time someone associated with the Carolina Panthers has been on the wrong side of headlines surrounding issues of this nature. Quarterback Cam Newton drew tons of negative press by how he answered a question asked by reporter Jourdan Rodrigue.

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