The owner is embroiled in an embarrassing NFL investigation.
Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is putting the franchise up for sale at the conclusion of the 2017 season, he announced moments ago.
Richardson’s announcement comes as the 81-year-old owner is in the middle of an NFL investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed team employees, used a racial slur toward a team scout and issued confidential settlement payouts as hush money.
As insight into the investigation deepened this weekend, it was reasonable to wonder whether or not Richardson would become the NFL’s version of Donald Sterling. It turns out he volunteered to step down before the league could punish him.
You can read an excerpt of Richardson’s letter below, and find the entire address here.
“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 NFL season. We will not begin the sale process, nor will we entertain any inquiries, until the very last game is played. I hope everyone in this organization, both on and off the field, will be firmly focused on just one mission: to play and win the Super Bowl.”
Jerry Richardson will put Carolina Panthers up for sale https://t.co/jvPW3GRAAi
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) December 18, 2017
Richardson, who won an NFL title as a wide receiver with the Baltimore Colts in 1959, has owned the Panthers since 1993 when the league awarded Carolina its 29th franchise.
During his run as owner, Richardson has seen the team advance to the conference title game in its second year of existence and ultimately reach a pair of Super Bowls.
While he’s going out under a cloud of controversy, Richardson is also going out on his own terms and will be able to profit from selling the franchise. Not a bad ending at all.