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On Friday, a team spokesperson released a statement regarding the accusations made against 81-year-old Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. The NFL was also informed Friday that the team had opened its own investigation.
“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,” the team said in the statement. “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 is being led by an outside law firm but overseen by a minority owner of the team.
According to Bleacher Report writer Mike Freeman, that’s left other teams with questions.
There are more than a few teams wondering why the Panthers are allowed to investigate themselves. One GM called it a “total scam.”— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) December 16, 2017
Try and imagine the reaction of NFL teams and fans if the Patriots investigated themselves over workplace misconduct. There would be riots.— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) December 16, 2017
No way in hell the Panthers should be allowed to investigate themselves.— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) December 16, 2017
The NFL has declined to comment about this investigation. Richardson, a former NFL player, has owned the Panthers since 1993.
Brianna Stone is a reporter and digital producer. Her work has been published by the Austin American-Statesman, the Daily Dot, and USA Today.