CHARLOTTE, N.C. — New Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper says while he’ll accept nothing less than an “open and safe” work environment in Carolina, he’s “contractually obligated” to keep a 13-foot high statue of former owner and team founder Jerry Richardson outside of the team’s stadium.
Tepper, who was introduced as Carolina’s new owner Tuesday, says keeping the statue in place was part of the deal when he purchased the team.
Richardson sold the team after his reputation was tarnished following reports in December of sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace. The league later substantiated the claims following a six-month investigation and fined Richardson $2.75 million.
Built in 2016, the statue features Richardson holding a football next to two growling Panthers.
Tepper reiterated that Charlotte is the “logical place” for the Panthers, but said new practice facilities are a necessity.