Richardson puts Panthers up for sale amid charges

Shortly after the Carolina Panthers scored a big 31-24 win over the Green Bay Packers at Bank of American Stadium, owner and founder Jerry Richardson announced Sunday night that he is putting the team up for sale at the end of the 2017 season.

According to multiple media reports, the move came after the NFL took over the investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct made against Richardson. A report Sunday said that the team has settled with at least four former employees.

League spokesperson Brian McCarthy confirmed the league will retain an outside counsel to conduct the investigation. Richardson did not address the development but posted a letter on the team’s official web site Sunday night.

“I believe that it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership,” Richardson said in a statement. Therefore, I will put the team up for sale at the conclusion of this NFL season. We will not begin the sale process, nor will we entertain any inquiries, until the very last game is played. I hope everyone in this organization, both on and off the field, will be firmly focused on just one mission: to play and win the Super Bowl.

“While I will no longer be the team owner, I will always be the Panthers Number One fan.”

Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated reported Sunday that it learned at least four former Panthers employees have received “significant” monetary settlements due to inappropriate workplace comments and conduct by Richardson, including sexually suggestive language and behavior. On at least one occasion, he directed a racial slur at an African-American Panthers scout, according to the magazine.

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