2:52 PM ET
David NewtonESPN Workers Author
- Coated Panthers, NFL for 11 years
- Greater than 25 years expertise masking NFL, school soccer and NASCAR
- Joined ESPN in 2006
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers have moved the statue of former proprietor Jerry Richardson from outdoors the North Gate of Financial institution of America Stadium to an undisclosed web site for what the staff referred to as security issues amid the racial unrest within the nation.
The primary portion of the statue, which incorporates Richardson holding out a soccer between two larger-than-life Panthers, was positioned on a flatbed truck by a crane and lined by a blue tarp.
A staff spokesperson stated it was unclear whether or not the removing is everlasting. Nonetheless, it was made clear the statue was being eliminated and never destroyed.
There have been rumblings on social media that the statue could also be torn down as protests continued in Charlotte following the demise of George Floyd in Minneapolis whereas in police custody on Memorial Day.
Richardson offered the staff to David Tepper in 2018 amid allegations of racial and sexual misconduct that first have been reported late within the 2017 season.
“We have been conscious of the latest dialog surrounding the Richardson statue and are involved there could also be makes an attempt to take it down,” a staff spokesperson stated. “We’re transferring the statue within the curiosity of public security.”
The 13-foot statue was introduced to Richardson in 2016 as a tribute to the staff founder, who introduced the NFL to the Carolinas in 1995.
Late in 2017, the staff introduced it was investigating Richardson for racial and sexual misconduct. That led to an NFL investigation, which resulted in a $2.75 million superb.
This coincided with the sale of the staff to Tepper for an NFL-record $2.275 billion. There was a clause written into the sale saying the statue couldn’t be faraway from its web site.
Security Tre Boston first joined the Panthers in 2014 when Richardson was the proprietor and he rejoined the group in 2019 after Tepper took over.
He has walked the streets or Charlotte in protest of racial injustice as a result of Tepper inspired gamers to talk their thoughts.
He has heard Richardson discourage gamers from protesting towards social injustice all the best way again to 2016, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took a knee.
With all that, Boston stated, it was “greatest for the neighborhood” to take away the statue.
“For me, the Carolina Panthers, we maintain ourselves to an ordinary,” Boston stated on a zoom convention Wednesday afternoon. “We maintain ourselves with delight we do the best issues.”
Boston would not say for positive whether or not Tepper talked to him and different gamers earlier than eradicating the statue.
“My man talks to me loads,” Boston stated with a smile. “He might need and night time haven’t. Hey, man, have been all on this collectively.”
Boston feels Tepper is a “pal” after they discuss, one thing he by no means skilled with Richardson as a result of they by no means had that shut of a relationship.
As a substitute of judging Richardson and what he stood for, Boston stated, “I can say for the issues he didn’t permit us to do, we’re now seeing that wasn’t the best factor.”