Panthers, owner Jerry Richardson reached settlements on sexual, racial allegations, per report


The NFL has taken over a workplace misconduct investigation into Richardson at the request of the Panthers, who initially announced Friday that they were looking into accusations made against the owner.

"And on at least one occasion [Richardson was] directing a racial slur at an African-American Panthers scout".

And while those cases are sealed as part of the structure of the settlement, the SI report also includes details of sexual and racial misconduct that paint a disturbing picture of the Panthers owner.

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"The Carolina Panthers and Mr. Richardson take these allegations very seriously and are fully committed to a full investigation and taking appropriate steps to address and remediate any misconduct", Panthers spokesman Steven Drummond said in the statement.

Richardson reportedly followed the settlements with non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses. League source says NFL has retained outside counsel to investigate. Richardson has declined comment through the team while the investigation is ongoing.

Because of the investigation, the Panthers told SI they would not comment publicly on the specific allegations. Overseeing the probe originally was minority owner and former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, but the investigation now will be handled exclusively by the NFL. Erskine Bowles, a limited owner with the team and a former White House Chief of Staff, was overseeing the probe.

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Richardson became the first former National Football League player since George Halas to own an National Football League team when he was awarded an expansion franchise on October 26, 1993.

Richardson, who had a heart transplant in 2009, has rarely appeared in public settings in recent years, although he has continued to attend Panthers games.

But multiple former female employees recount that Richardson's behavior began to feel like a violation when he spoke of their bodies.

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Team president Danny Morrison abruptly resigned in February. Richardson said in 2009 he and his family owned 48 percent of the team, with the other 52 percent being owned by a group of about a dozen minority partners.

This is a developing story.

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