Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson investigated over alleged workplace misconduct

Jerry Richardson, the owner and founder of the Carolina Panthers, is being investigated for alleged workplace misconduct, the team announced Friday.

The NFL team said former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, who served under President Bill Clinton, was overseeing the investigation by a Los Angeles-based law firm.

Steven Drummond, the team’s spokesman, said the Panthers and Richardson, 81, take these allegations very seriously and were fully committed to a full investigation and were taking the appropriate steps to address and remediate any misconduct.

The details of the alleged workplace misconduct were not immediately available, SB Nation reported. Drummond said because of the investigation specifics about the alleged misconduct could not be made public.


"The entire organization is fully committed to ensuring a safe, comfortable and diverse work environment where all individuals, regardless of sex, race, color, religion, gender, or sexual identity or orientation, are treated fairly and equally," Drummond said in a press release. "We have work to do to achieve this goal, but we are going to meet it."

The investigation against the team's only owner in franchise history is being led by international law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, LLP, and will be overseen by Bowles, who is a minority owner.

Richardson bought the team in 1993 when he became the first former NFL player since George Halas to own a team. Richardson played for the Baltimore Colts for two seasons, earning Colt Rookie of the Year in 1959. He became a successful businessman following his short tenure in professional football.

The allegations are just among a string of controversies plaguing the team in the last year.

Team president Danny Morrison, who was well liked in the Carolinas among those who worked on the business side, abruptly resigned in February.

Richardson unexpectedly fired general manager Dave Gettleman, who led the team to the Super Bowl just two years ago and replaced him with former general manager Marty Hurney. The move was considered odd considering the team made the playoffs three times in four seasons under Gettleman.


Former Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme said he is one of "numerous" former Carolina players who maintains a close relationship with Richardson.

"The only thing I can say is that Mr. Richardson is a gentleman that I have the highest degree of respect for," Delhomme told The Associated Press.

Richardson was only one of two owners to have owned a franchise since its inception. The other is Houston's Robert McNair.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.