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Panthers owner under contract to keep Richardson statue

Jul
10
7/10/2018 2:57:00 PM
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While new Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper would like the focus to be on his plans for the team's future, he cannot completely put the franchise's sullied past behind him, Steve Reed of the Associated Press reports.

Tepper has to keep the prominent statue of Panthers' founder Jerry Richardson outside of the stadium as part of the NFL-record $2.2 billion deal he agreed to in December after Richardson decided to sell the team amid reports of sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace.

Tepper said Tuesday when he was introduced as the team's new owner that he's "contractually obligated" to keep a 13-foot high statue of Richardson standing alongside two growling panthers where it is.

The league substantiated the allegations against Richardson following a six-month investigation and fined him $2.75 million.

Fans have expressed their desire on social media and sports talk shows to remove the statue, which was built in 2016.

And while Tepper said contractually he can't do that, Tuesday he spoke repeatedly about changing the environment of the Panthers workplace.

Tepper said there will be "no impediment" in employees feeling comfortable in taking any concerns up the ladder on the business side of the organization.

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