The massive statue that resides outside Bank of America commemorating former owner Jerry Richardson is no more.
On October 26, 1993, Richardson became the owner of the Carolina Panthers, the NFL’s 29th franchise. He would remain owner of the team, a powerful owner at that, for 24 years until a Sports Illustrated piece was released that reported “at least four former Panthers employees have received ‘significant’ monetary settlements due to inappropriate workplace comments and conduct by owner Jerry Richardson, including sexually suggestive language and behavior, and on at least one occasion directing a racial slur at an African-American Panthers scout.” Richardson allegedly asked women in the team offices to “turn around so he could admire their backsides” among other “disturbing” office behavior.
The same day as the allegations, Richardson announced that he would sell the Panthers franchise at the conclusion of the season, going on to finalize a sale to David Tepper for $2.2 billion.
With statues being removed across the country due allegations of racial bias and other misconduct, Richardson’s 13-foot memorial flanked by two panthers gifted to him from the team’s minority partners to Richardson for his 80th birthday has seen the same fate.
Im outside Bank of America Stadium. A crew is checking out the Jerry Richardson statue. A flatbed truck is here. pic.twitter.com/lY7rWyguKp
— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) June 10, 2020
Jerry Richardson’s statue has been removed. The former Panthers owner was accused of using the N-word, engaging in sexual harassment including what were described as stealthy moves, such as a seat belt maneuver, which he used to touch women employees. pic.twitter.com/eQ0avqjwD1
— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) June 10, 2020
— Estephany Escobar (@EstephanyNews) June 10, 2020
The team addressed the matter on social media.
We were aware of the most recent conversation surrounding the Jerry Richardson statue and are concerned there may be attempts to take it down. We are moving the statue in the interest of public safety.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) June 10, 2020