NFL

Carolina Panthers founder Richardson dies aged 86

By Sports Desk March 02, 2023

Carolina Panthers founder Jerry Richardson has died aged 86.

Richardson brought the Panthers to Carolina and the NFL in 1995, reaching Super Bowls in the 2003 and 2015 campaigns.

He left the franchise in 2018 after allegations of sexual and racial workplace misconduct.

Panthers owners David and Nicole Tepper paid tribute to Richardson after his death was announced on Thursday, saying: "Jerry Richardson's contributions to professional football in the Carolinas are historic.

"With the arrival of the Panthers in 1995, he changed the landscape of sports in the region and gave the NFL fans here a team to call their own.

"He was incredibly gracious to me [David Tepper] when I purchased the team, and for that I am thankful.''

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also saluted Richardson, saying in a statement: "The NFL community is deeply saddened by the passing of Jerry Richardson.

"The Carolina Panthers are a testament to his extraordinary and tireless dedication to the community. But his league-first attitude as seen through his leadership of numerous NFL committees... helped pave the way for a series of public-private stadium partnerships throughout the country, and collective bargaining agreements that continue to support the growth of the game.

"As a former player himself, Jerry cared deeply about the welfare of players and the labour agreements he helped negotiate have led to improved pay and benefits for generations of players. From a personal perspective, he was a wise and caring advisor to me, his fellow owners, and many Panthers players and coaches over the years."

New Panthers head coach Frank Reich was the franchise's first quarterback under Richardson, and said: "I will always be thankful to Mr Richardson for the Panthers. Being a part of the inaugural [season] is something that I will never forget.

"It was truly a special experience to play a part in the culmination of his efforts to bring football to the Carolinas."

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