Carolina Panthers Move Statue of Former Owner Accused of Sexual and Racial Misconduct


The Carolina Panthers have taken down the statue of former owner Jerry Richardson following concerns that local protestors would try to target the monument.

On Wednesday, the NFL team shared that they would be "moving the statue in the interest of public safety," however the franchise did not announce where it would be relocated.

"We were aware of the most recent conversation surrounding the Jerry Richardson statue and are concerned they may be attempts to take it down," the team wrote.

Later that day, the statue located outside of the team's Bank of America Stadium was lifted by a crane and placed on a flatbed truck to be carried away.

The statue, which first debuted in 2016, features Richardson, 83, standing tall and holding out a football while standing between two panthers.

Richardson sold the Panthers in 2018 after he was accused of allegations of racial and sexual misconduct. The allegations led to an investigation by the NFL and a $2.75 million fine from the league, according to Sports Illustrated. The NFL’s investigation found evidence that supported the claims of workplace misconduct against Richardson.

As the nation continues to see protests around the country in the wake of George Floyd's death – a black unarmed man who was killed during his arrest — the Panthers wanted to secure the area around Richardson's statue as several controversial statues across the country have already been toppled by protestors.

According to SI, multiple employees who worked with Richardson, 83, recalled hearing "occasional racial overtones," including using a racial slur when speaking to an African-American scout, or preferring that black players not wear dreadlocks.

In 2018, current Panthers owner David Tepper — who bought the team shortly after the allegations against Richardson were released — said he was "contractually obligated" to keep the statue outside of the stadium.

Richardson's spokesman, Jim Gray, told the Charlotte Observer that he was unaware that his statue was being taken down.

“Mr. Richardson has made no public comments about the Panthers or the NFL since the sale of the team and doesn’t plan to do so now as a private citizen," Gray's statement read. "He has worked to treat all people fairly in his business and personal lives and, like many other Americans, is troubled by recent events in Minneapolis, Charlotte, and around the country."

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.

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