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NFL team remove statue of former owner

The move came two years after Jerry Richardson sold the Carolina Panthers in disgrace following allegations of racism.

Statue of owner Jerry Richardson (file pic).
Statue of owner Jerry Richardson (file pic).
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

THE CAROLINA PANTHERS on Wednesday removed the statue of former owner Jerry Richardson from outside their stadium, two years after the tycoon sold the team in disgrace following allegations of racism.

The Panthers said in a statement the statue of Richardson outside its Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, was being removed on safety grounds.

“We were aware of the most recent conversation surrounding the Jerry Richardson statue and are concerned there may be attempts to take it down,” the team said in a brief statement.

“We are moving the statue in the interest of public safety.”

The removal comes amid a worldwide surge of incidents involving monuments associated with racism. 

On Wednesday, Boston police said a statue of Christopher Columbus had been beheaded while authorities in Virginia said another statue of the Italian explorer had been vandalised and dropped in a lake.

It followed an incident in Bristol, England, on Sunday when demonstrators toppled the statue of a slave trader and dumped it in a harbour.

The incidents follow worldwide protests against racism and police brutality following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis on 25 May.

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Former Panthers owner Richardson, 83, sold the franchise in 2018 following allegations he had engaged in sexual and racial misconduct. 

The allegations included a claim he had used a racial slur when speaking to an African-American scout.

An NFL investigation later ruled the claims against Richardson were substantiated and fined him $2.75 million.

Richardson sold the Panthers to billionaire David Tepper in May 2018.

© – AFP, 2020

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