Dale Earnhardt Jr. Interested in Becoming Minority Owner of Carolina Panthers

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2018

CORRECTS BYLINE TO DARRYL GRAHAM NOT TERRY RENNA Dale Earnhardt Jr. is surrounded upon getting out of his car after a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. Earnhardt is retiring from full-time racing. (AP Photo/Darryl Graham)
Darryl Graham/Associated Press

Retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is interested in becoming a minority owner of the Carolina Panthers but is not currently involved in an ownership group making a bid on the franchise at this time.

Felix Sabates told the Charlotte Observer last week his group included two unnamed race car drivers.

"(Felix) did not ask me to be involved," Earnhardt told Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press. "I did call Marcus (Smith, the CEO of Speedway Motorsports) and I said, 'Hey, Marcus, if you guys are in the middle of it and you think it's a good business deal, I definitely have some interest.' But I am not one of the guys that Felix is talking about."

Current Panthers owner Jerry Richardson intends to sell the franchise this offseason. Richardson made the announcement after allegations the owner engaged in widespread sexual harassment against employees and used a racial slur. A Sports Illustrated investigation uncovered Richardson settled with at least four employees during his tenure with the club.

Earnhardt, who retired from NASCAR following the 2017 season, has an estimated net worth of $225 million, according to Forbes. His net worth makes it unlikely he would own more than a small stake in the franchise.

"I wouldn't have the kind of money where I would move the needle too much, but it would be something to have a lot of pride in, and a good Charlotte NFL team is good for the city of Charlotte," Earnhardt said. "I wish them success because of what it does for our community, not only from a pride standpoint but [from] an economical standpoint. I wouldn't be a big player, and it wouldn't be an investment that would really create a big change in my life.

"But I certainly would love to be supportive to the team and the success of the team to the community. That means a lot to me."

Steph Curry, Colin Kaepernick and Diddy are among the other celebrities who have expressed some interest in buying the Panthers.

Related

    Building the Perfect QB Prospect for 2018 Draft

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Building the Perfect QB Prospect for 2018 Draft

    B/R Video
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Bills Aren't Planning to Cut Tyrod

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Report: Bills Aren't Planning to Cut Tyrod

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    Panthers Could Tag Gano, Also Want to Keep Norwell

    Carolina Panthers logo
    Carolina Panthers

    Panthers Could Tag Gano, Also Want to Keep Norwell

    Charean Williams
    via ProFootballTalk

    What Should the Panthers Do with Gano?

    Carolina Panthers logo
    Carolina Panthers

    What Should the Panthers Do with Gano?

    Tim Weaver
    via Panthers Wire