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Carolina Panthers issue statement on Jerry Richardson misconduct investigation

By
The Sports Xchange
Carolina Panthers majority owner Jerry Richardson (R) talks with former tight end Kris Mangum just prior to kickoff on November 21, 2004 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. File photo by Bob Carey/UPI
Carolina Panthers majority owner Jerry Richardson (R) talks with former tight end Kris Mangum just prior to kickoff on November 21, 2004 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. File photo by Bob Carey/UPI | License Photo

The Carolina Panthers released a statement regarding their workplace misconduct investigation, which started after majority owner Jerry Richardson announced in December he was selling the team amid allegations of workplace misconduct by Richardson.

"Since December 2017, when we commenced an internal investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct, the organization has taken the appropriate steps to remediate any misconduct and ensure a safe and comfortable work environment," the team said in a statement. "These claims are very serious and we have cooperated with the NFL's investigation and remain fully committed to improving every facet of our organization. Because this matter continues to be under an ongoing legal review, we will not comment publicly on the specifics of the allegations, but we do feel compelled to establish what we are doing to provide a healthy work environment.

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"Tina Becker was named COO in December, and immediately began working towards addressing the issues. The team allocated significant resources towards reforming our workplace, restructured executive responsibilities and added a comprehensive training program on harassment and diversity and inclusion issues. We have overhauled our related policies and procedures, including improvements in our reporting to the league, all to make certain that employees who have a concern have multiple ways to report those concerns and can feel comfortable doing so. We have instituted several new employee programs, all aimed at creating an environment in which our staff can feel proud to work."

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The league began an investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct against Richardson, and the Panthers officially were put up for sale in January. Richardson, 81, is still under investigation by the NFL.

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Day-to-day control of the team was given to Becker, a 20-year employee of the team who was promoted to chief operating officer.

Team owners are expected to discuss the sale of the Panthers at their meetings in May, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

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