Yesterday, right before the Carolina Panthers kicked off against the Green Bay Packers, Sports Illustrated published an unsettling report about the team’s owner, Jerry Richardson. The story outlines numerous allegations of sexual and workplace harassment, use of a racial slur, and various undisclosed payouts for victims. Richardson announced that he was going to be putting the team up for sale after the 2017 season, but made no reference to the Sports Illustrated piece.
Quickly following the announcement, Diddy tweeted: “I would like to buy the @Panthers. Spread the word. Retweet!” He followed up saying, “There are no majority African American NFL owners. Let’s make history.” That particular line stuck out, when the SI report included this detail about Richardson’s treatment of black employees:
Pressed for specifics, they cite everything from Richardson’s expressed preference that black players not wear dreadlocks to an alleged request that an African-American employee apply sunblock to Richardson’s face.
Richardson revealed in his statement that he wouldn’t be talking with potential buyers until the season was over. Steph Curry, a two-time NBA MVP who played high school basketball in Charlotte, quote-tweeted Diddy that night and added: “I want in!” The team’s sale is months away, but the prospect of the NFL getting its first majority black owner to replace an allegedly racist and sexist owner is a bit of welcome irony.