REUTERS

Ex-Panthers Owner Fined $2.75 million After Investigation

The former Carolina Panthers owner, Jerry Richardson, has been fined $2.75 million following an investigation by the NFL, which found truth to allegations of racial and sexual workplace misconduct.


The NFL
announced on Thursday that the probe, conducted by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, validated the allegations against Richardson, whose “improper conduct was limited to him and that the team and its ownership failed to report the allegation or any resolution agreements to the league.”

The release also said most of the funds will go toward “organizations dedicated to addressing race and gender-based issues in and outside of the workplace.”

Allegations of misconduct first hit headlines in December when
Sports Illustrated reported that Richardson made sexually suggestive comments to women and, on at least one occasion, directed a racially charged slur at a Black scout.

According to SI, at least four employees signed non-disclosure agreements and received “significant monetary settlements” for Richardson’s misbehavior over the years, including reaching across women’s laps and “brushing his hand across their breasts.”

In an effort to create a more positive work environment, White endorsed an end of the year follow-up report suggesting Panthers be required to report on the club’s ongoing work on its internal workplace policies and procedures. That includes addressing both racial discrimination and sexual harassment among other workplace issues, the press release says.

The Panthers recently promoted Tina Becker to chief operating officer in the wake of the investigation, according to
CBS. And the incoming owner, David Tepper, was “briefed” on the investigation by White.

In response to the misconduct revelations, Commissioner Roger Goodell said, “I appreciate Mary Jo White’s careful and thorough examination of these issues and her thoughtful recommendations to the Panthers and the entire NFL.”

He continued, “Her recommendations will help ensure that our workplaces are open, inclusive, and respectful.”

However, only time will tell.

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