The Panthers may have wiped their hands clean of former owner and creep Jerry Richardson, but his face isn’t going to be forgotten by fans any time soon.
The Panthers were officially sold to Hedge Fund Orc David Tepper this week, and the newest NFL owner held a press conference with media on Tuesday. At the press conference, Tepper provided some lip-service, saying the organization will improve its outlets for reporting harassment following the actions of former owner Jerry Richardson, who was pushed out of the ownership role when reports of groping and other forms of sexual harassment surfaced in the spring.
Tepper did not answer the question of whether he would investigate how Richardson’s actions went unabated for so long. Still, he hit all the notes his PR team wanted him to and seemed to be wrapping a fairly standard presser when, with the final question of the afternoon, the Charlotte Observer’s Scott Fowler got Tepper to admit that the statue of Richardson, which is planted front-and-center before the stadium, is staying put because it was a condition of the team sale.
The revelation is a bit of a shock—while many (utterly stupid) Richardson acolytes in North and South Carolina still praise the man for bringing the NFL to the region in the ‘90s and have supported the creepy old man over the past few months, it was widely believed that the new owner would tear down the 13-foot eyesore, or at least move it somewhere that wasn’t literally directly in front of where tens of thousands of fans walk past every single gameday.
Instead, Tepper and his team appear to have ceded ground in their negotiations and are now allowing the stadium to go on being marred by the presence of a monument to a disgraced former owner. Maybe this is something to keep in mind when the team and its new billionaire owner inevitably come to the Charlotte government with their hands out looking for tax cuts on any new stadium or practice field renovations.