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Former Panthers owner fined €2.4 million following workplace misconduct probe

Jerry Richardson recently completed a €1.9 billion sale of his majority stake in the NFL franchise.

Richardson: improper conduct was limited to owner, investigation finds.
Richardson: improper conduct was limited to owner, investigation finds.
Image: Streeter Lecka

Updated 20.35

OUTGOING CAROLINA PANTHERS owner Jerry Richardson has been fined $2.75 (€2.4m) million after an independent investigation substantiated claims of workplace misconduct.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said money from the fine would go towards “organisations dedicated to addressing race and gender-based issues in and outside of the workplace.”

The fine comes after an investigation by former US federal prosecutor and Securities and Exchange Commission chairwoman Mary Jo White.

The NFL said White’s investigation had substantiated the claims “and identified no information that would either discredit the claims made or that would undermine the veracity of the employees who have made those claims.”

The probe concluded that no other Panthers employee was involved in the improper conduct, which was “limited to Mr. Richardson.”

Richardson stepped down and announced he would sell the Panthers in the wake of allegations that emerged in December.

Reports said at least four team employees had received “significant” monetary settlements due to inappropriate workplace comments and conduct.

The allegations included the use of sexually suggestive language and behaviour, as well as use of a racial slur.

Billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper has paid a reported $2.2 billion (€1.87 billion) for Richardson’s majority stake in the Panthers, $800 million more than the previous record figure for an NFL team.

Tepper’s acquisition of a controlling stake in the Panthers was approved by the NFL last month at an owners meeting in Atlanta.

© – AFP, 2018

Updated 20.35: An earlier version of this article stated that Tepper had bought the Panthers from Richardson; Tepper has bought Richardson’s controlling stake to become the Panthers’ majority owner.

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