Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is the latest man in a position of power to be accused of inappropriate conduct in the workplace in 2017. The founder of the football franchise is being investigated by an outside law firm after serious allegations about his conduct surfaced in the Panthers organization.
Word broke on Friday evening that the NFL owner is being investigated for “workplace misconduct.” Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, however, it was the Panthers franchise itself that launched the investigation and announced the review of Richardson’s conduct on Friday.
The Panthers announced they have hired an outside law firm to investigate the claims, releasing a statement from a team spokesperson along with details about the investigation on its website on Friday.
Because the matter is under legal review, the team said it can’t public specifically about the allegations, but it’s clear this is a serious situation.
The Carolina Panthers today announced it has commenced an internal investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct against the team’s owner and founder, Jerry Richardson. 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 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. “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.”
It’s clear the team is taking the claims against Richardson seriously, and immediately calls into question whether Richardson will be allowed to own the team moving forward regardless of the outcome of the inquiry. The NFL has taken the personal conduct of its players seriously over the last few years, but this is a major claim against an owner to an extent we haven’t seen in the past. If Roger Goodell can issue punishment for players, it would seem reasonable that he can punish owners for their mistakes, too.