A statue of former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, which had stood in front of the team’s stadium since it opened
nearly 25 years ago, was removed by workers on Wednesday.
“We were aware of the most recent conversation surrounding the Jerry Richardson statue and are concerned there may be attempts to take it down,” the team said in a statement. “We are moving the statue in the interest of public safety.”
In December 2017, Richardson announced he was putting the team up for sale after a Sports Illustrated report, citing unidentified sources, said he made sexually suggestive comments to women and at least on one occasion directed a racial slur at an African American team scout.
The report stated that the settlements in the case against Richardson came with non-disclosure requirements forbidding the parties from discussing the details.
The league also fined Richardson $2.75 million over the allegations of misconduct.
Aerial video on Wednesday showed a huge crane lift the statue from its pedestal and place it on a flatbed tractor-trailer parked nearby.
Traffic on a street beside the stadium appeared to have been blocked while the statue was being removed.
Two panther statues beside Richardson’s statue also were removed.
Richardson and his ownership group paid $206 million in 1993 for an expansion team.
He had been the team’s only owner until David Tepper paid $2.2 billion for the club in 2018.
The Panthers began play in 1995 but have never delivered on Richardson’s promise of winning a Super Bowl.
They lost after the 2003 and 2015 seasons.
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