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#Panthers move Jerry Richardson statue amid George Floyd protests

#Panthers move Jerry Richardson statue amid George Floyd protests

June 10, 2020 | 3:51pm

Another statue is coming down — though the Carolina Panthers got to this one before any protesters could.

The NFL team announced Wednesday it was moving the statue of its former owner, Jerry Richardson, which has stood outside of Bank of America Stadium since 2016. The 83-year-old Richardson sold the team in 2018, but not before being accused of sexual harassment and the use of a racial slur, according to Sports Illustrated.

“We were aware of the most recent conversation surrounding the Jerry Richardson statue and are concerned that there may be attempts to take it down,” the Panthers said in a statement. “We are moving the statue in the interest of public safety.”

New Panthers owner David Tepper, after purchasing the team for $2.275 billion, said in 2018 he was “contractually obligated” to keep the statue where it was. It was not immediately clear where the team was moving the statue.

Other controversial statues across the country have recently been toppled by protesters in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis and the ensuing protests against systemic racism and police brutality.

A statue of former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.
A statue of former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.AP

“Mr. Richardson has made no public comments about the Panthers or the NFL since the sale of the team and doesn’t plan to do so now as a private citizen,” a spokesman for Richardson said in a statement to WSOC in Charlotte. “He has worked to treat all people fairly in his business and personal lives and, like many other Americans, is troubled by recent events in Minneapolis, Charlotte, and around the country.”

The NFL fined Richardson $2.75 million in 2018 after its investigation into his workplace misconduct. Multiple former employees told Sports Illustrated there were “occasional racial overtones” in Richardson’s dealings with his workers, including using a racial slur directed at an African-American scout and preferring that black players not wear dreadlocks.

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