NFL fines outgoing Panthers owner Jerry Richardson $2.75 million - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

NFL fines outgoing Panthers owner Jerry Richardson $2.75 million following misconduct investigation

(Credit David T. Foster III | The Charlotte Observer) (Credit David T. Foster III | The Charlotte Observer)

Outgoing Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was fined $2.75 million by the NFL after a months-long investigation found allegations of sexual and racial misconduct by Richardson.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the findings and conclusions in the investigation Thursday, which was conducted by U.S. attorney and SEC Chairman Mary Jo White.

Most of the fine money will be used to support the work of organizations dedicated to addressing race and gender-based issues in and outside of the workplace. A portion of the fine will also be used to fund league-wide programs to ensure state-of-the-art workplace policies and training.

Richardson announced he was selling the Panthers after the investigation surfaced. In May, hedge fund manager David Tepper was approved as the team's new owner. 

As stated in Thursday's release, White met with Goodell to review her findings:

  • First, the review identified each of the allegations that has been publicly reported as well as similar matters that have not been the subject of public discussion.
  • Second, while the investigation was not limited to the matters that have been publicly reported, and did not seek to confirm or reject the details of each specific allegation made regarding Mr. Richardson, it did substantiate the claims that have been made, and identified no information that would either discredit the claims made or that would undermine the veracity of the employees who have made those claims.
  • Third, the improper conduct was limited to Mr. Richardson. No other employee of the Panthers is alleged to have engaged in such conduct, and the review did not discover evidence of similar conduct by other employees of the club.
  • Fourth, the investigation also confirmed that the Panthers and its ownership did not report the claims, or any agreements to resolve those claims, to the League Office and that neither the League Office nor the club’s limited partners were aware of these matters until they became public in December of 2017.

“I appreciate Mary Jo White’s careful and thorough examination of these issues, and her thoughtful recommendations to the Panthers and the entire NFL,” Goodell said. “Her recommendations will help ensure that our workplaces are open, inclusive and respectful.” 

Soon after the announcement, the Carolina Panthers released a statement about the investigation and its findings:

The Carolina Panthers recently received notice from the NFL that its investigation into workplace misconduct is complete. We cooperated throughout the investigation and have taken proactive steps to address any misconduct. While the investigation has concluded, we remain committed to improving all facets of our organization and fostering an environment in which all of our staff can trust they are safe and valued.

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