It’s been a rough week for the NFL in terms of owners and players being able to control their behavior in the presence of women. We’re also finding out that a few of those owners who are so offended by player protests are actually straight up racists. Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was suspended for three games by the NFL on Thursday for a sexual assault on an Uber driver.
The NFL also announced that it will impose a $2.75 million fine on former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson for years of workplace misconduct and developing a culture of sexual harassment and racial discrimination. A league investigation substantiated the damning allegations made in a December Sports Illustrated piece.
SI also reported that Richardson made financial settlements with at least four former employees.
NFL announcement that former Panthers’ owner Jerry Richardson is being fined $2.5 million after its investigation into Caroline’s workplace environment.
The NFL said that its investigation turned up a history of misconduct within the Panthers organization. While Richardson lost his privilege to own an NFL team, the price he has to pay for his oppressive and demeaning actions is a small one monetarily. Richardsons fine will be put towards several organizations that address race-and gender-based issues and fund league-wide workplace training.
In the spirit of Donald Sterling and capitalism in America, Richardson’s hideous past transgressions have led to a historic and rewarding financial windfall. The 81-year-old disgraced owner sold the franchise to hedge fund manager David Tepper for a whopping $2.2 billion dollars.
That fine is less than one percent of the cash Tepper paid to buy the franchise and Richardson, who owns 48 percent of the team, made around $1 billion from the sale.
When Jerry Richardson bought the Carolina Panthers in 1993, he paid $206 million. When he sells the team after the season, he is expected to get in range of $2.5 billion.
When people in power such as Richardson create toxic and predatorial workplace environments, their behavior influences everyone in their organization. The owner sets the precedent in a corporation and if his or her standards fall short then you can inevitably watch the disease of workplace harassment and discrimination spread throughout the organization. The organization’s “Jeans Day”, where women’s appearances were rated, was just the tip of the iceberg.
Richardson obviously didnt see anything wrong with the culture he was creating. He freely paid off anyone of color or any minority who was victimized during his tenure as owner, taking advantage of their financial situations to keep his evil hidden under court litigation and agreements to remain silent.
From Donald Sterling to Danny Ferry to Jerry Richardson, pro sports has been cleaning out the riff-raff for some time now. Richardson made a killing on selling his team so his influence on the state of North Carolina and the community will still, unfortunately, be significant, but in the interim, the Carolina Panthers franchise and the sport of football will be better off without his prescience.