SUNDAY, 10:06am: The NFL is taking over the Richardson investigation at the Panthers’ request, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). As Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer tweets, Carolina made the suggestion in an effort to remove any conflict of interest that may have existed with Bowles overseeing the investigation.
Under the prior investigation parameters, Richardson would participate in the team’s daily affairs as normal. However, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says now that the league has taken over the investigation, it is unclear whether that will remain the case (Twitter link).
FRIDAY, 5:08pm: Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is under internal investigation for alleged workplace misconduct, according to Jim Trotter of ESPN.com. Carolina has since released a statement on the matter.
“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,” team spokesman Steven Drummond said. “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. We have work to do to achieve this goal, but we are going to meet it.”
The investigation, per the team’s statement, will be led by an outside law firm and Panthers limited partner/former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles. “Erskine Bowles is a trusted leader of unquestioned integrity. We look forward to this report, which we know will be honest and thorough,” Drummond said.
Richardson, 81, has been the Panthers’ owner since the franchise’s inception in 1995. He is the only former NFL player to own a club.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.