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Former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson dies at 86

Jerry Richardson
Source: USA Today

The death of Jerry Richardson, former owner of the Carolina Panthers, was revealed Thursday. He was 86. In 1993, before the Panthers entered the NFL as an expansion club in 1995, Richardson was given ownership of the franchise. He remained in that position until 2018. During the close of the 2017 season, Sports Illustrated reported allegations of sexual and racial misbehaviour against Richardson, prompting an NFL investigation, which ultimately led to his sale of the franchise. David Tepper paid Richardson a then-record $2.275 billion to acquire the Panthers from him in 2018.

Tepper said on Thursday that Jerry Richardson had made “historic contributions” to professional football in the Carolinas. When he brought the Carolina Panthers to the area in 1995, he revolutionised the sports scene and offered local NFL fans a team to root for. When I bought the squad, he was really kind and helpful, and I appreciate his kindness very much. Please accept my sincere sympathies on behalf of Nicole (Tepper) and myself to Rosalind (Richardson’s widow) and the rest of the Richardson family and friends. We hope they find solace in this time of sorrow.

Jerry Richardson, Panthers founder and NFL power broker, dies at 86

Source: USA Today

During Richardson’s tenure as owner, the Panthers reached the playoffs on eight separate occasions and twice reached the Super Bowl. Former Panthers head coach and current Commanders mentor Ron Rivera took to Twitter to express his and his wife Stephanie’s sadness at Richardson’s demise. For giving me the chance to coach the Panthers for seven seasons and for his unwavering patience and guidance, I will be eternally grateful. Sending my deepest sympathies to Rosalind, Ashley, and Mark, and the rest of the Richardson family. From 1959 to 1960, Richardson was a Baltimore Colts’ roster member.

Richardson’s troubled legacy

It will be difficult to untangle the legacy Richardson has left behind. The NFL moved its training camp to Charlotte, North Carolina, thanks to him, and he became a charity leader in the city and at Wofford, his alma institution.

Yet, the workplace misconduct charges shocked Panthers fans and ultimately led to his selling the team. The monument of Richardson that was in front of Bank of America Stadium was taken down by order of Tepper in June 2020. After selling the franchise, Richardson stayed out of the spotlight, focusing on his humanitarian efforts and spending time in his Charlotte office until his health deteriorated.

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