Jerry Richardson to sell Carolina Panthers football team

WSPA Staff - CHARLOTTE, NC (WSPA) - Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced Sunday that he will sell the team following the 2017 season.

In a letter posted to the Panthers website, Richardson says after more than two decades of owning the NFL team, it's time for new ownership.

Richardson says he will not begin the sale until every game in the season is played.

Richardson, 81, is the focus of an investigation into workplace misconduct.

The NFL announced Sunday that it would take over the investigation.

A Sports Illustrated report says Richardson made a racial slur towards a Panthers scout. The magazine also reports four former employees received money in settlements after inappropriate workplace comments and misconduct.

Wofford College is currently contracted to host the Panthers training camp through 2019 in Spartanburg.

The college says it is too early to say what may happen to the agreement under new ownership.

The Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau released a statement saying, "Spartanburg has been the home of the Carolina Panthers training camp since its inception. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Panthers, Wofford College, the city and county during any transition that occurs."

Below is Richardson's full letter about the future of the franchise:

There has been no greater mission or purpose in my life than to have brought an NFL franchise to Charlotte. The obstacles back then were significant, and some even questioned whether our community could or would support professional football. But I always know that if given the chance, The Carolinas would rise to the occasion.

And you have. The team has become an integral part of our community. The stadium is in the best condition since the day it opened. And we have played in two Super Bowls.

Football is also an integral part of my life - and I am blessed, every day, that I made the Carolinas my home. I can never repay all of you for the kindness and generosity you have shown me, Rosalind, and my family for more than two decades. We have the best fans in football - and I truly mean that. In my opinion, we also have the best organization, and they have served us well.

I believe that it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership. Therefore, I will put the team up for sale at the conclusion of this NFL season. We will not begin the sale process, nor will we entertain any inquiries, until the very last game is played. I hope everyone in this organization, both on and off the field, will be firmly focused on just one mission: to play and win the Super Bowl.

While I will no longer be the team owner, I will always be the Panthers Number One fan.

With respect. Always.

Jerry Richardson

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