I never thought much one way or another about Carolina Panthers’ owner Jerry Richardson in the past. He was pretty much a non-enmity to me in Southern California. I knew he was rich and that he was the first fellow since the really early years of the NFL to progress, over many years, from player (Rookie of the Year in 1959, though that was the best year of a short career) to team owner. The revelations about him that have come out over the past few days led me to look a little deeper into him, and what I see is disgusting at many, many other levels. What Jerry Richardson is, is a pathetic, egomaniacal racist who places his personal needs and well-being over others who need empathy, sympathy and help from others.
The recently released revelations that led to his withdrawal from management of his team and in putting the team up for sale represents only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to arrogant and sometimes reprehensible actions on his part.
First, there are those allegations, which were first reported by Sports Illustrated, in an article that began with the following introduction into Richardson’s character:
“Friday was Jeans Day, when most staffers at the Carolina Panthers team offices would wear denim to work. The female employees knew what that meant. As the team’s owner, Jerry Richardson, made his rounds on the way to his spacious office, he would ask women to turn around so he could admire their backsides. Then, in his rolling Southern drawl, he’d offer comment, drawing from a store of one-liners he’d recycle each week. Among those in heaviest rotation: Show me how you wiggle to get those jeans up. I bet you had to lay down on your bed to fit into those jeans. Did you step into those jeans or did you have to jump into them?”
SI.com went on to document how Richardson’s conduct triggered numerous complaints
over many years, and that in fact several monetary settlements were paid out settling claims of sexual harassment and at least one triggered by racist slurs. Continue reading