Panthers' David Tepper Contractually Required to Keep Jerry Richardson Statue

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2018

A statue of former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson stands outside an entrance to Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, July 10, 2018. New owner David Tepper said during a news conference at the stadium Tuesday that he is contractually obligated to retain the statue. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

David Tepper may be the new owner of the Carolina Panthers, but he's powerless to remove the statue of previous owner Jerry Richardson.

Tepper spoke to reporters Tuesday after finalizing his purchase of the team Monday. During the press conference, he revealed he's "contractually obligated" to keep Richardson's statue outside Bank of America Stadium, per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport offered more information behind the story:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

On new #Panthers owner David Tepper being contractually obligated to keep Jerry Richardson’s statue in place: Source says it was included in the contract terms presented to all the bidders by the seller’s lawyer. ... Sounds like it was non-negotiable.

The Panthers unveiled the statue, which stands almost 13 feet, in July 2016 to honor Richardson, who had been the franchise's only owner after bringing Charlotte into the NFL in 1993.

Richardson put the Panthers up for sale in December following a report by Sports Illustrated's L. Jon Wertheim and Viv Bernstein that detailed allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior made against him. The NFL issued a $2.75 million fine to Richardson in June.

Tepper reached an agreement in May to purchase the Panthers for $2.2 billion, the highest price ever for an NFL franchise. Terry and Kim Pegula owned the previous mark, having paid $1.4 billion for the Buffalo Bills in October 2014.