CHARLOTTE, N.C. — New Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper says while he’ll accept nothing less than an “open and safe” work environment, 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 announced in December that he intended the sell the team, following reports of sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace. The NFL substantiated the claims against Richardson after a six-month investigation and fined him $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.