In the spirit of Donald Sterling and capitalism in America, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson’s hideous past transgressions have led to a historic and rewarding financial windfall. The 81-year-old disgraced owner has completed a deal to sell the franchise for a whopping $2.2 billion dollars, but the buyer isnt P.Diddy who had sent out Tweets early in the process expressing his desire to be the NFLs first African-American majority owner and just the second in all of the major pro sports (MJ reigns supreme in Charlotte).
@Panthers There are no majority African American NFL owners. Let’s make history.
Richardson sold the fate of Cam Newton and the franchise to hedge fund manager David Tepper, a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team was put up for sale in December after Richardson was accused of workplace harassment and racism.
According to Sports Illustrated’s L. Jon Wertheim and Viv Bernstein, the Panthers owner paid out settlements to at least four employees. The accusations included “sexually suggestive language and behavior” and, in at least one case, racism.
When the allegations came to light, Richardson issued a statement revealing that it was time for him to step aside from the team:
“I believe that it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership. Therefore, I will put the team up for sale at the conclusion of this NFL season. We will not begin the sale process, nor will we entertain any inquiries, until the very last game is played. I hope everyone in this organization, both on and off the field, will be firmly focused on just one mission: to play and win the Super Bowl.”
Richardson stepped aside but decided to go with Tepper because the mogul promised to keep the team in Carolina and because his approval as team owner will move more expeditiously than other candidates’ approval.
Tepper, who is the founder of Appaloosa Management, is worth an estimated $11 billion. Last year, Forbes valued the Carolina franchise at $2.3 billion, making it the 21st most valuable in the league. Richardson has owned the team ever since its inception back in 1995.
In order for Tepper to take control of the Panthers, he must sell his stake with the Steelers.
Steelers’ minority owner David Tepper is expected to sign the deal today to buy the Panthers and keep them in Carolina, league sources tell @SethWickersham and me. The deal then would be expected to be approved at the owners meetings in Atlanta on May 22.
Reports say Tepper will bring the philosophies of one of the NFLs flagship and winningest franchises to the Carolina Panthers.
Panthers owner-to-be David Tepper wants Carolina’s football side of the business to mirror the Steelers. Tepper wants continuity, stability, progressive thinking on player contract extensions, and not setting the market on free agents. He wants the Steeler way in Carolina.
Donald Sterling sold the Clippers for over $2 billion after purchasing it in 1979 for just $12.5 million. The former owner used his banishment from the NBA for his racist views to his advantage and cashed out significantly richer than when he started. Richardson has done the same. Creating a culture of sexual harassment forced him out of his ownership position, but he was well compensated with a payoff beyond most peoples wildest imagination.
This is America.