Skip to content

Jerry Richardson to Cam Newton: No tattoos, no piercings


Appearing as guests on PBS’s Charlie Rose (thanks for the head’s up, SportsBusiness Daily), Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Panthers owner Jerry Richardson talked about a variety of issues.  I’ll be posting some of the most interesting aspects of their discussion right here.

The first one relates to the pre-draft meeting between Richardson and quarterback Cam Newton.  Though the topic was addressed by Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer in April, it’s worth repeating.

Richardson, who said that Newton “was dressed perfectly” for their meeting, was blunt.  “I said, ‘Do you have any tattoos?'” Richardson told Rose.  “He said, ‘No, sir.  I don’t have any.’  I said, ‘Do you have any piercings?’  He said, ‘No, sir.  I don’t have any.’  I said, ‘We want to keep it that way.’ . . . .

“We want to keep no tattoos, no piercings, and I think you’ve got a very nice haircut.”

Interjected the host:  “You sound like a Lombardi.”

Said Richardson, “No, I just sound reasonable to me.”

The fact is that, over the years, Richardson has drafted and signed plenty of players who have tattoos and piercings, including tight end Jeremy Shockey.  Apparently, Richardson is willing to tolerate those things when it comes to men who won’t become the face of the franchise.  For someone like Newton, whom Richardson said has “athletic ability unlike anything that I have seen in quite a few years,” Richardson presumably wants him to do nothing that would potentially alienate the mainstream paying customers.

Regardless of the motivation, there’s something troubling about Richardson’s position.  Though Newton can’t be disciplined for getting a tattoo or a piercing or multiple of either, Richardson has made his wishes clear — and he’d likely be unhappy if Newton defies them.

But Richardson isn’t Newton’s father.  Newton is a grown man, and he can do whatever he wants by way of decorating his body with ink or ice, or by growing his hair as long as he pleases.  The notion that teams would try to make players into non-threatening billboards seems more than a little heavy-handed, even if it’s done in the name of “growing the pie” to the benefit of teams and players alike.

We’ll give you the last word on this one.  Cast a vote below.

Permalink 186 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Carolina Panthers, Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Top Stories
186 Responses to “Jerry Richardson to Cam Newton: No tattoos, no piercings”
  1. jcg23 says: Aug 24, 2011 4:58 AM

    Oh this is NOT gonna get 8 pages of comments about how bad this man is out of his mind… Nope… lol wow.

  2. mrmilstead says: Aug 24, 2011 5:04 AM

    Richardson: Oh yea, by the way no white girls either Cam…

    Cam: WTF!!!!!

  3. brientomas says: Aug 24, 2011 5:09 AM

    I just wanna know why you can’t tackle some fool by his hair if he’s going to wear it hanging out so far. Otherwise I have no issues with tattoos and piercings on players.

  4. jumpinjoebuck says: Aug 24, 2011 5:19 AM

    As much as I DESPISE players using the “slave” term…

  5. tatum064 says: Aug 24, 2011 5:21 AM

    Jerry is old school. Its the “voice of reason” in an age where the game is getting out of control of the owners. The society is beginning to infiltrate the entertainment that is conducive to a family visit to the stadium.

    The recent fight and shooting at the Raider-Niner game last weekend was a huge red flag. Richardson, while appearing to be draconian, is essentially correct. It is an employee relationship he seeks to re-establish, and the employees should look presentable to the public.

    And uh, I am a Raider fan. Were as free and wild as we were in the 70s, just not as successful as then and the early 80s.

  6. drgreenstreak says: Aug 24, 2011 5:26 AM

    You’d think a guy walking around with donated organs pumping through him would not be concerned with such trivial issues. Jerry Richardson wants it to be 1962 forever. Even Jerry Jones is smarter than that.

    Ya know, ol’ JR has been given a pass before when he berated a player in a meeting. Yet, he touts that player/owner title as if he is a “player’s owner”. No. He’s not. He should just play Madden.

  7. batyuki says: Aug 24, 2011 5:28 AM

    “Julius, you may be the best DE in the league but I don’t want my best player to have tattoos, so GTFO”

  8. dougyc123 says: Aug 24, 2011 5:31 AM

    This is so ridiculous. Love the fact that Cam doesn’t have any, but it is certainly not up to Mr. Richardson to dictate this.

  9. anhdazman says: Aug 24, 2011 5:34 AM

    Jerry Richardson is an A$$. It’s none of his business.

  10. chrisbntx says: Aug 24, 2011 5:45 AM

    I’m not sure why NFL players should be any different. Most companies have an expectation that their leaders present themselves in a certain way. While Cam is not a front office guy he is the CEO on the field. He doesn’t seem to have any issues with the request so I’m not sure it’s even a problem. If it does become an issue he can always request a trade to the Raiders or Bengals.

  11. golonger says: Aug 24, 2011 5:55 AM

    This is no different than someone going to work for a store that required a certain presentation…….that’s what the owner wants….his team…….if Newton doesn’t like it, he doesn’t have to play!

  12. golonger says: Aug 24, 2011 5:57 AM

    People somehow think it is their constitutional right to take a job somewhere and look and do whatever they want because of freewill….incorrect.

    As an owner of a business, I can dictate how I want my business to be presented to the buying public. If a potential employee doesn’t agree with it…that is fine. They don’t have to work at the establishment.

  13. bartpkelly says: Aug 24, 2011 5:58 AM

    Where is the option for ‘Yes, but players don’t have to follow it.’
    Teams should let players know what they expect form their players, and if the players get tatoos then they should know that their owner frowns on it.
    Fines? No…but players should know what the owners like.

  14. kevinwi says: Aug 24, 2011 5:59 AM

    A player on a team is a product you market with a certain image it wishes to promote and portray…and you want the face of it to be as clean as a whistle. It’s a business people.
    If Cam wishes to get exposed tatoo’s, it’s his business, but then doesn’t deserve to be rewarded for non-compliance when contract day rolls around.

  15. rjkilla says: Aug 24, 2011 6:02 AM

    who cares…he can run his business anyway he wants…there are plenty of workplaces that don’t allow tattoos or piercings

  16. nflofficeadmin says: Aug 24, 2011 6:03 AM

    Sounds like a real bigot. I didn’t realize having tattoos and piercings was unreasonable. Thanks for clearing that up, Jerry!

    Only one of the the top two players in franchise history was inked up and down the arm. (Peppers) And I think by all accounts he’s a model citizen… but that’s just me.

  17. chefjayson says: Aug 24, 2011 6:04 AM

    First I think we need to remember that the NFL is a JOB! People forget that these guys work FOR the owners just like you work FOR your boss. I’ve had jobs before that told me I can’t have my hair too long or have any visible tattoos or piercings. When you work FOR somebody that’s something that you have no control over. That being said…until the NFL states it…I don’t think the individual owners have the right as they are just pieces of the whole organization. I don’t want to see a league where guys that have tattoos are only allowed to be on certain teams because the owners deemed tattoos to be bad for business

  18. deegizzle says: Aug 24, 2011 6:04 AM

    SMH…I wonder if he asked Blaine Gabbert the same thing during their visit.

  19. edmazeing1 says: Aug 24, 2011 6:22 AM

    Guy lost his mind, your paying him for his play, not to tell him what to wear……….& way go Raiders!!!

  20. tfbuckfutter says: Aug 24, 2011 6:23 AM

    This reminds me of the Yankees and their no facial hair except mustaches rule.

    By that I mean….obsessively controlling and a little bit gay.

  21. bobbyhoying says: Aug 24, 2011 6:24 AM

    It’s like any other job. If you show up for an interview looking like a hood you might not get hired. The employer has a right to spend their money on a person who looks presentable.

  22. drmonkeyarmy says: Aug 24, 2011 6:29 AM

    Tattoos are the new mainstream. Also, I doubt paying customers will care about any of that assuming TD’s are being put on the board.

  23. Topher says: Aug 24, 2011 6:29 AM

    I have never worked for a company, as an adult, that did not have a visible tattoo policy.

  24. bereado says: Aug 24, 2011 6:30 AM

    Why not?

    The guys is paying him millions of dollars to be the face of his franchise. if he doesn’t want him to have tqtoos or piercings, he has every right to request that.

    If Cam newton goes out and does get them, and his contract gets termed, welcome to the real world. You think you can go into a big firm and score a high paying job while sporting tatoos and peircings? Guess again.

    That is the way the world works. Newton isn’t applying for a job at mcdonalds, he is applying for a seven figure job in one of the highest profile companies in the world. Any job like that is going to have image standards and moral terpitude clauses.

  25. tennesseeoilers says: Aug 24, 2011 6:35 AM

    Seriously? If I’m getting paid millions of dollars to be a high profile leader in a company and represent that company publicly? Absolutely, I’ll expect a dress code. Not to mention a conduct code. Read your employee manual lately?

  26. idontevenwannaknow says: Aug 24, 2011 6:37 AM

    Does anyone actually think if Newton actually got a tattoo(s) or piercing(s), Richardson would actually “fire” or discipline Newton? I don’t.

  27. Tribe&Browns&Cavs says: Aug 24, 2011 6:38 AM

    I have no issue with an employer enforcing a dress code, they’re paying you to be at work. Tattoos and piercings are a little different, if they’re covered (or removed), when in uniform, I don’t think they shouldn’t be an issue.

    The thing is, as the article mentions, it has to be consistant with the business or in this case the franchise. It can’t be a case-by-case issue (even though that seems to be the league’s M.O.).

  28. veretax says: Aug 24, 2011 6:38 AM

    I disagree with the assertion. If the owner of a club wants to project an image, and said player wants to continue to work for that owner, then he should do everything possible to work with the owner. After all, this is a business, would you go to McDonalds if Ronald had 15 piercings all around his mouth and nose? I wouldn’t. Besides, every other corporation has a dress code of some kind, it isn’t like he would not have faced this perhaps in the work place elsewhere.

  29. z0inks says: Aug 24, 2011 6:39 AM

    While I’m sure Richardson is an old-school guy who has low regard for any manner of body ornamentation, this isn’t so much about Jerry imposing his own personal values on a player; it’s a matter of maintaining and maximizing Cam’s image and marketability, particularly as it relates to the corporate sector.

    The fact is, in today’s game, corporate money is where it’s at. Fans may be the lifeblood of the NFL, but they’re going to be there regardless. The league doesn’t have to work too hard pitching its product to the fans; they sell themselves on it.

    The hard-earned money comes in the way of corporate sponsorships and advertising dollars. It’s one thing to ask fans to spend a thousand bucks on season tickets; it’s another thing entirely to convince a corporation to spend a quarter-million dollars on a luxury box for one season, or millions of dollars for high-profile advertising space.

    And the unfortunate truth is, in big business, image is EVERYTHING. It’s a whole lot easier to sell big business on a nice-looking, clean cut young man like Cam Newton, as opposed to a player like Chris Johnson with all the hair, tattoos, and gold teeth.

    I’m not saying it’s right or wrong; that’s just how it is. When big money starts changing hands, companies are more likely to support teams and athletes that represent the type of image the company wishes to present for itself. And as a subscriber to that corporate mindset, Jerry Richardson knows this all too well.

    This isn’t a matter of an owner telling a player how to dress and act; it’s about a businessman maximizing his product’s marketability.

  30. joeandfresh says: Aug 24, 2011 6:49 AM

    The more disturbing reality is that Jerry Richardson likely pushed for Newton based on his responses to this question, rather than picking the guy who has the best chance to succeed. And that’s why they’re the Panthers.

  31. tfbuckfutter says: Aug 24, 2011 6:50 AM

    brientomas says: Aug 24, 2011 5:09 AM
    I just wanna know why you can’t tackle some fool by his hair if he’s going to wear it hanging out so far. Otherwise I have no issues with tattoos and piercings on players.



    You CAN tackle by the hair. However you can’t tackle by the shoulder pads and sometimes players get flagged because when they have the hair it LOOKS like the pads.

  32. lawyermalloy says: Aug 24, 2011 7:00 AM

    Sounds “negotiable” to me. You want “no tats or piercings”? put it in a contract with a lot of zeros attached, otherwise shut up!

  33. mempusa says: Aug 24, 2011 7:00 AM

    His team, His rules.

  34. jerlee7 says: Aug 24, 2011 7:01 AM

    Why is this a big deal?

    I bet 90% of people work somewhere that has some type of dress code, either cover tatoos, keep your hair neat. Is that unreasonable?

    The New York Yankees have similar policies with being clean and neat looking. Oh my God! He told him he can’t have tatoos or piercings! It’s outrageous and racist and …… pretty damn normal. Get a grip people.

  35. mvlonergan says: Aug 24, 2011 7:07 AM

    This is pretty standard. My employer has a policy of no visible tattoos.

  36. qdog112 says: Aug 24, 2011 7:14 AM

    I am the biggest Panthers fan and Cam Newton’s most staunch supporter(and he needs it in Charlotte), since his first game against Clemson last year. He is the prototypical “new wave QB”, in my opinion. A guy who has size, strength and perfectly merges RB talent and elite passing skills.

    I have said more than once that if scientists went into the lab to design the perfect QB – they would emerge with Cam Newton. I have also placed him on the mythical collegiate, Mt. Rushmore.

    That said, I like what Richardson has said and agree with his right to say it. Obviously, it didn’t phase Cam who is there to play football. CAVEAT: Richardson is 78 and will not be around to head the team through Cam’s tenure. If Cam decides to get a piercing or tat, I’m sure he will.

  37. cowboysfaninpatriotsland says: Aug 24, 2011 7:16 AM

    The BOSS had certain standards for the Yankees when it came to facial hair. To play for the organization, you complied with the rule. While it may seem odd to tell a grown man that he can’t wear a tattoo or ear piercing, you could alway tell him he’s more than welcome to wear them both for another team.

    I think the owner has the right but I don’t see how it helps your team win games. You bring in the best people to help you win. Tattoo or not.

  38. bigbwoy000 says: Aug 24, 2011 7:16 AM

    The most successful franchise in the history of sports: Yankees have been doing that for years. 27 world championships later, maybe they are onto something.

  39. scudbot says: Aug 24, 2011 7:18 AM

    If Carolina finishes with better than .500 record, their fans wouldn’t care if Queequeg was their QB.

  40. twindaddy says: Aug 24, 2011 7:18 AM

    This is no different than someone going to work for a store that required a certain presentation…….that’s what the owner wants….his team…….if Newton doesn’t like it, he doesn’t have to play!
    Correct, no different, but still stupid. My job gets done the same whether I have hair like repunzel or I’m completely bald, whether I have a collared shirt on or not, whether I have piercings or not, or whether I have tattoos or not. It’s sad that so many companies feel the need to suppress individualism all in the name of capitalism. And to be honest, I seriously doubt many people care what you look like as long as you get the freakin job done. I know I don’t.

  41. dirtdawg55 says: Aug 24, 2011 7:19 AM

    Carolina expects it’s players to look nice. Most other teams expect to win.

  42. seneca1ss says: Aug 24, 2011 7:20 AM

    Someone tell Jerry “no whiskey” and we’ll see how he likes that

  43. ralphgrenader says: Aug 24, 2011 7:20 AM

    Full disclosure Im a 25 yo white male with a lot of tattoos.

    I think Jerry Richardson is a boorish, stubborn, old man who was the driving reason/unreason behind the lockout. Hes difficult, and in all liklihood the reason he doesnt want newton to have tattoos is because of a misconcdption about whether Newton can be successfully marketed while simultaneously being tatted and black. That being said I have for along time felt that there is a reason you dont see very many successful QBs with tattoos. If my QB is spending any time under the needle for a superficial piece of body art instead of studying film or learning every positions responisibility on every single play than he is mismanaging his responsibilities as a professional and I wouldnt trust him as the leader of my franchise.

    Obviously there are exceptions to this idea such as Mike Vick but even Vick acknowledged that before his stint in the clink he didnt spend near enough time studying. There just arent that many supremely gifted athletes like Vick out there that can spend virtually no extra time on being a great QB. Once Mike learned that he needed to put in the extra time he became a much more successful pro QB and not just a freakish hybrid RB. But for every Mike Vick their are even more JaMarcus Russells, Vince Youngs, and Terrelle Pryors.

  44. KIR says: Aug 24, 2011 7:21 AM

    I guess he would turn down the new Tom Brady? Although I do understand his rationale. The Hip Hop culture cost the NBA a lot of money. The players are going to fill that lost in their new collective barging agreement. Allen Iverson crapped on all of the hard work of Jordan, Bird and Magic. The kids might like it but adults ie people with money were turned off. The NBA is just now after 10 years starting to recover.

  45. seneca1ss says: Aug 24, 2011 7:22 AM

    “OWNERS” love to control people

  46. joetoronto says: Aug 24, 2011 7:22 AM

    brientomas says: Aug 24, 2011 5:09 AM

    I just wanna know why you can’t tackle some fool by his hair if he’s going to wear it hanging out so far. Otherwise I have no issues with tattoos and piercings on players.
    You can.

  47. joetoronto says: Aug 24, 2011 7:24 AM

    nflofficeadmin says: Aug 24, 2011 6:03 AM

    Sounds like a real bigot. I didn’t realize having tattoos and piercings was unreasonable. Thanks for clearing that up, Jerry!

    Only one of the the top two players in franchise history was inked up and down the arm. (Peppers) And I think by all accounts he’s a model citizen… but that’s just me.
    Please explain how you managed to make this about race, I gotta see this.

    All types of races have tattoo’s and piercings.

  48. NFLJunkie says: Aug 24, 2011 7:24 AM

    Yeah, I think owners have every right to decide what’s important to them in building their brand, including whether their most marketable player has tattoos.

    They also have the right to have it backfire on them if it turns out nobody really cares if a football player has tattoos, and all this conversation does is plant the seed among other players that maybe this isn’t a guy you want to play for.

    Of course, if Richardson keeps writing checks like he has these past few months, I’m sure those offended players could get over it.

  49. daveon1y says: Aug 24, 2011 7:26 AM

    my issue is this: sure companies can dictate how you show up and act at work, i get that. this, however, is taking it a step further by dictating how cam can look when he’s not at work. i’ve had many coworkers that have to rock the long sleeves at work to cover up the tats, and they’re cool with that. but when it’s their time (ie: off the clock), they let the arms show. cam won’t get to draw that line.

    and second, since when did just having a tat make you immoral for some reason? there are TONS of reasons people get the tats they do. my 80+ yr old great uncle has a tat that says “mom” on his arm, does that make him a bad person?

  50. qdog112 says: Aug 24, 2011 7:26 AM

    mrmilstead says: Aug 24, 2011 5:04 AM

    Richardson: Oh yea, by the way no white girls either Cam…

    Cam: WTF!!!!!
    I see your point and it’s a good one. Richardson doesn’t care if Cam has a white girl, just not his grand daughter, ha ha. (that’s a joke) But really, the team is in the south and the culture down here is still not totally ready to be led by a person of color. ( conservatism reigns)Not unlike the person in the White House, Cam is being rejected for who he is and not what he does. That’s just fact.

    So, Richardson is right and I would be the same way, if it were my business. I want the best image I can get for my product and that means different things for different places. Would he have desired the came from Brady or Manning? Probably not, but has anybody noticed their piercings or tats?

  51. texline1 says: Aug 24, 2011 7:27 AM

    I think it’s probably aimed at the ” Look at me” persona that a lot of NFL players have adopted. Tattoos and piercings say exactly that. Let your play do the talking. Many business’ have dress codes and personal conduct codes. If an employee don’t like it, they can find another employer.

  52. jetsarestacked says: Aug 24, 2011 7:28 AM

    The yankees have the same thing in place. Players have to cover tattoos and be well groomed. The problem I have with this is that Newton is probably the only player on the panthers that has to abide by these rules. Maybe their owner should focus more on the talent of the product on the field instead of what they look like. No wonder the panthers blow.

  53. spunjmunke says: Aug 24, 2011 7:32 AM

    No offense, but my workplace has a dress code that states no visible tattoos and no piercings on men. Last I checked, if the OWNER wants one of his EMPLOYEES to exhude a certain image, then the EMPLOYEE had better comply.

    Athletes are NOT slaves, as much as some like to say. Sure, they are drafted by a team and therefore obligated to play for them or else harm their chances of playing anywhere at all, but they are not shackled to the deck and forced to scrub the floors. They have the ability to quit and do something else just like we all do if they don’t like the business they work for. So save all the rediculous comments about athletes being slaves. If they are, then hell, I wish I was too.

  54. frankrizzo51 says: Aug 24, 2011 7:38 AM

    We won’t allow an employee to enter a home with vivible tattoos or piercings. I wondered how I would have felt if one of my back surgeons showed up in his scrubs with arms full of tattoos and lips, nose, cheeks and ears pierced.

  55. Slim Charles says: Aug 24, 2011 7:39 AM

    LOL, Richardson is senile. I wonder if he also told Newton to stay off his lawn.

  56. jigwig13 says: Aug 24, 2011 7:40 AM

    Umm I think he’s paid to play be the face of the franchise and be a mentor to people..with that being said u can have tattoos and still be that..tattoos don’t determine the kind of person you are…let JR frown about it I bet if he does get them and have good yrs doing his rookie contract he will get an new contract regardless..sometimes employees don’t see eye to eye with there bosses anyway

  57. mrpapadakos says: Aug 24, 2011 7:43 AM

    Cam Newton = Jamarcus Russell v.2.0

  58. paperlions says: Aug 24, 2011 7:43 AM

    Yeah, because having 60-80 yr old white guys running things has worked out so well lately….we should also commend them for extending their personal believes onto younger generations, because change is bad.

  59. frankrizzo51 says: Aug 24, 2011 7:45 AM

    Come to think of it, I’ve seen far more whites with tattoos and piercings falling off their bodies than I have blacks. This while working in Chicago.

    This is going to sound stereotypical but I would expect to see the tattoos in the auto repair shop, county fair, machine shop, steel mill while not seeing them in the operating room, court room, bank, schools and restaurants.

    It seems to be accepted in industries that don’t deal much with the public, except for the carnival.


  60. nationalmediacansuckit says: Aug 24, 2011 7:46 AM

    “Richardson presumably wants him to do nothing that would potentially alienate the mainstream paying customers.

    Translation: Don’t want to scare white people.

    Just say what you really mean.

  61. brwmstr says: Aug 24, 2011 7:48 AM

    The NFL is trending dangerously close to the path the NBA took years ago and is now the NBA is trying to rebuild it’s image and fan base. These players represent their respective teams. It is not unreasonable that owners want them to be non controvertial and risk alienating their fan base.

  62. paperlions says: Aug 24, 2011 7:51 AM

    I’m sure a bunch of guys of similar appearance felt it they just “sounded reasonable” when they fought to maintain slavery and to prevent women’s basic rights (like owning property or voting) as well.

    Typically, when people like this state they that they think they are being reasonable, they are just demonstrating their desire for everyone to look and act the same way they do.

  63. mwm367 says: Aug 24, 2011 7:51 AM

    Lighten up people. Cam is just a kid and JR was just trying to set the stage for the “owner-player” relationship. That’s it. People always look way too deep into things.

  64. strctlylo says: Aug 24, 2011 7:53 AM

    just because you own a company/team, doesn’t mean you can tell your employees to do whatever you want. you can’t simply tell your female employees to wear low cut shirts for example. employees do have rights. now with that said, i do agree that a no piercings/tatoos policy can hold up. however, picking and choosing who can and can’t have these piercings/tatoos is discrimination and can open up a door to issues, potential discrimination law suits. successful business owners in general (not the rule) tend to be type A personalities that think because they are the boss they can control everything. i work for a guy that wanted to fire someone because they had an extra-marital affair with someone who wasn’t affiliated with the job. point being, he thought he could control what that person does on his/her time after work. owner doesnt equal king of the world.

  65. jtsticks says: Aug 24, 2011 7:53 AM

    An employer has the right to create an image with it’s employees that it wants to foster with the public. I know many companies you require that no tatoos or piercings be visible. Now obviously an athlete will have a little more trouble hiding these things because of the locker room, but Richardson made a request, Newton, as a man (and if they are men here, they are men when they make a mistake too), can follow that request or ignore it. But I would think, that if I am him, there will be another contract and I would not want to make the owner mad by defying him. And I it was a strong request, not a demand.

  66. sb36champsfan says: Aug 24, 2011 7:54 AM

    Richardson has every right to tell Newton not to get Tattoos or piercings. It’s his show. If Newton doesn’t like it, get them and let Richardson trade him for it. I would, however, question the wisdom of trading him just because he doesn’t have an unmarked body. Ryan Leaf has no visible tattoos or piercings, but I wouldn’t want him on my team.

  67. baldeaglejohnie says: Aug 24, 2011 7:54 AM

    I guess I can see the owners point as the face of the franchise but man it sure sounds pretty old school. and not that cool old school. tats are so common if he held the rest of the team to that rule he would have a lot of roster spots to fill .

  68. iamthefootballjerk says: Aug 24, 2011 7:57 AM

    Let me simplify this one for the bloody-do-gooders and first amendment nuts.

    Jerry owns the team and can ask his player(s) to have no tattoos.

    Cam can choose to bag groceries instead of get paid 30 mil to play a game.

    End of story.

  69. catman72 says: Aug 24, 2011 7:59 AM

    Nothing wrong with JR stating his preferences to kid that he’s going to draft and pay to be the face of his franchise.

  70. mnfaninaz says: Aug 24, 2011 7:59 AM

    If Mr. Richardson wants to pay me the kind of money he’s paying Cam, he can tell me how to walk, how to eat my food and how to kiss my wife…

    You pay me that kind of money, you own me… I’m yours, sir.

  71. whatswiththehate says: Aug 24, 2011 8:02 AM

    Jerry is old school Plain and simple.
    “If my QB is spending any time under the needle for a superficial piece of body art instead of studying film or learning every positions responisibility on every single play than he is mismanaging his responsibilities as a professional and I wouldnt trust him as the leader of my franchise.”
    So u really want to believe that a QB spends every waking moment studying game films?
    “But for every Mike Vick their are even more JaMarcus Russells, Vince Youngs, and Terrelle Pryors.”
    Other dumb black QBs? Missing ur point. At least u admitted that ur white cause sadly, it seems catagorizing blacks is what many of u seem to enjoy doing without even thinking…
    “Richardson presumably wants him to do nothing that would potentially alienate the mainstream paying customers.”

    U mean some of the already inked up, drug smoking, and unkept folks who watch football. Welcome to the real world Jerry.

    By the way does anyone have a problem with Clay Matthews have long hair and tats?

  72. gingermakes says: Aug 24, 2011 8:03 AM

    Can somebody find out if Jerry ever asked these questions to a white player?

  73. deegizzle says: Aug 24, 2011 8:05 AM

    Please explain how you managed to make this about race, I gotta see this.

    All types of races have tattoo’s and piercings.


    I normally don’t get into issues like this and have no hint of racist blood in my body (heck, my wife is white lol)….The problem I have with this article is that I am sure the same questions weren’t asked about Gabbert by Richardson.

    What this article reveals to me is that at some point in Richardson’s thought process, it occurred to him that a BLACK QB will be leading his team and he wants to make sure that that potential team leader kept his appearance a certain way. I have a problem with the fact that this was even a part of his thought process.

    I can name SEVERAL black players in the league without tatoos and piercings. I can also name several white players in the league with tatoos and piercings.

    Unless Gabbert comes out and says he was told the same thing by Richardson in regards to his appearance, I have a problem with it.

    Am I saying Richardson is a racists? Heck no. But I do not like that this subconcious thought of Cam doing these things even seeped into Richardson’s brain.

    We can pretend we’re past this as a society, but unfortunately we’re not.

  74. joe6606 says: Aug 24, 2011 8:08 AM

    I dont care what why he tries to spin it, those comments were clearly racist..

    It would be one thing if he had a hardline policy where he refused to draft any players who had tatts or piercings.

    But to single Cam out specifically, esp since he’s black, is tainted with the stench of blatant racism

  75. east96st says: Aug 24, 2011 8:11 AM

    To all the posters that have said some variaton of “if he doesn’t like it, work somewhere else” or “I own a business and my employees do as they are told” – the guy was drafted. He had NO option to play for someone else nor did he have the option of “declining” the job offer to work for another employer than has a more employee friendly “dress code”. You can agree or disagree with Richardson. That’s your right. But don’t act like Newton had the option to say, “Well, I don’t care for Mr. Richardson’s rules, so I’m going to play for whatever NFL team I choose.”.

  76. rmm1984 says: Aug 24, 2011 8:11 AM

    Man I usually HATE when the race card is played but this sure walks a fine line.

  77. CCDDAY says: Aug 24, 2011 8:12 AM

    I have no problem with Richardson making a suggestion like that, it’s his company and he’d like it if the face of his franchise was clean cut. But if Cam wants to go out and get a Tyson tat on his face and a superman style “F*ck JR” tattoo across his chest, Richardson wouldn’t have any grounds to fine him or anything like that… He could cut him, but that’s the same with any team, piss the owner off and risk getting cut. Then Richardson would have to risk cutting “talent” (I’m not a Cam fan), taking a PR hit and letting Cam take his talents to another team.

  78. berniemadoffsides says: Aug 24, 2011 8:13 AM

    He held up a photo of Steve Smith and said, “Yeah, basically just don’t be like this.”

  79. ezdoesit209 says: Aug 24, 2011 8:16 AM

    Just take a look around the league… If owners seriously considered only signing players who looked like choir boys they wouldn’t even be able to field a team. This is the NFL not Wallstreet. Every person (not just NFL player) should have the right to look, speak, and portray themselve the way they feel comfortable. Who are their critics to say otherwise, nobody? Seriously though, we’re talking about grown men who have families of their own yet Richardson wants to treat them like children. I don’t think so…

  80. marinephinfan says: Aug 24, 2011 8:16 AM

    How some of you idiots turned this into a race/slavery issue is beyond me.

    As for Richardson not wanting Cam to get tat’s or piercings, it’s his team and he can request or demand how his players look on the field or in front of the press. I always laugh at people who think that their boss can’t dictate how they dress, look, etc. If Cam really wants a tat that bad…resign from the team. It’s that simple. I have tats all over…however, I now work in a field that requires I cover them when there. Hell, even the military is getting picking about where they want their Marines, soldiers, airmen or sailors to get tat’s.

    It’s called be an adult and realizing that you don’t just get to do whatever you want and not possibly suffer consequences. It’s simple…If you want to play in the NFL you have to follow rules. If you work ANYPLACE…you have to follow rules. It’s not about race or slavery or any of that other B.S. that some of you morons mentioned.

  81. fwippel says: Aug 24, 2011 8:24 AM

    I have to side with Richardson on this one. Newton is going to be the face of the franchise, and this is Richardson’s franchise. He has just as much right to put expectations on his employees as any other owner of any other company.

    One guy I graduated from college learned this lesson the hard way. He interviewed for a sales position with a company, and showed up at the interview with an earring. The people doing the interview told him they didn’t want any men representing their company wearing earrings or any other body piercings. Well, the guy got ticked off and blew the interview. Problem is, he forgot who it is that was going to be paying his salary. He thought he had the right to ‘demand’ to be allowed to represent the company his way; problem is, it wasn’t his company.

    It’s the same deal here. If Newton doesn’t like the expectations Richardson has placed on him, then he could have held out or asked for a trade. Truth is though, Richardson is doing Newton a favor.

  82. 3octaveFart says: Aug 24, 2011 8:24 AM

    I didn’t know Jerry Richardson was a Michelle Bachmann backer…

  83. thetooloftools says: Aug 24, 2011 8:26 AM

    I liked it better when players took steroids… bigger,stronger,faster… what’s wasn’t to like ?

  84. broncobourque says: Aug 24, 2011 8:26 AM

    I don’t really like JR but it doesn’t sound like he told Newton he isn’t allowed to get tattoos or piercings, he was just letting him know he would prefer he doesn’t. Either way, there is nothing JR can do if Newton goes and gets a dozen tattoos and piercings tomorrow. Sure he could release him but he would still have to pay the guaranteed money in the contract and I am sure another team would be glad to pick him up.

  85. southcakpanther says: Aug 24, 2011 8:27 AM

    George Steinbrenner had the same rule for Yankees players. I suppose the argument here though is he isolated Cam when others on the Panthers have tatts. I think Cam is smart enough to realize his marketing potential if his play lives up to the hype. Why risk losing a commercial deal or something over a tatt.

  86. davidjcu says: Aug 24, 2011 8:27 AM

    Just for the record, most old people prefer young people to not have any piercings, tattoos, or ridiculous hair. Just ask your grandparents. I

  87. redbear18 says: Aug 24, 2011 8:33 AM

    In my opinion, in most cases, tattoos and piercings just make players look immature and unprofessional. There are very few that can pull off reasonable tattoos, and none that can pull off piercings. It is up to them, however, I have higher opinions of players who choose not to get tattoos or piercings.

  88. jacunn2000 says: Aug 24, 2011 8:33 AM

    Why does a Man feel the need to wear an earring anyway?? It is really a little on the stupid side.

  89. really2011 says: Aug 24, 2011 8:35 AM

    Comparing this to typical workplaces – LOL!!! So I guess all of the bloggers were drafted to work at their current companies right?

    This is way different. I am fairly sure that Cam wouldn’t have chosen the Panthers had he had the opportunity. While my personal preference is in alignment with Richardson, I am not ok with the implication that it is a requirement. Especially one that isn’t uniformly applied, to all positions, teams, etc.

    What’s worse than Richardson’s comments – some of the idiotic defenses of it in this list of posts.

  90. haroldballsagna says: Aug 24, 2011 8:36 AM

    I get it. Richardson owns the team so he can ask whatever he wants. All you widget business owners out there can dictate how your employees dress. Got it. If Cam doesn’t like it he can work somewhere else, right? Wrong. How about this….let Cam get the tattoo then rescind his contract and let him sign somewhere else where there is actual talent around him. That’s what all you widget owners want, right? Jerry, do you care more about winning football games or playing house? Furthermore, check yourself in the mirror bro, for the way you embarrassed yourself and your franchise with your handling of preliminary CBA negotiations. For someone who nearly died a few years ago and had to undergo a quadruple bypass, he has an odd way of showing an appreciation for life.

  91. godofwine330 says: Aug 24, 2011 8:37 AM

    Personally, I hate tattoos. Both of my sister-in-law’s kid’s fathers (don’t even get me started) have MULTIPLE face tattoos (they also don’t have a GED or a diploma, or a job between them-again, don’t get me started).

    I am 34, but today’s generation has gone hog wild with this tattoo craze and it needs to stop, or at least slow down. I don’t have tattoos or any piercings, and I would like to keep it that way.

  92. dlindstedt2 says: Aug 24, 2011 8:41 AM

    All I got to say, is that,

    I have both tattoos and piercings, and if you are willing to judge me by those before even talking to me, I dont want to work or know you. If your view is so clouded and can’t see thru it, I have no need for your job or your friendship

  93. daveon1y says: Aug 24, 2011 8:44 AM

    i think a TON of people are missing the point. let’s review the poll question:

    Should teams be able to tell players not to get tattoos or piercings?

    if you read the question as stated, then the CLEAR answer should be NO. yes it’s true, lots of companies have policy against visible tats while at work, and i can agree with that. but find one company that says “if you get a tat you’re fired.” that’s crossing the line. most companies will take the angle that you can get em if you want, just don’t show em at work, and i think that’s fair. but to be able to dictate what one chooses to do with his/her body (as long as it’s not immoral/illegal) as an employer? that’s where again i have issue.

  94. frankrizzo51 says: Aug 24, 2011 8:45 AM

    Boy, a lot of people who weren’t there know for sure what was said and to whom it was said.

  95. stugie says: Aug 24, 2011 8:46 AM

    Richardson, who said that Newton “was dressed perfectly” for their meeting, was blunt. “I said, ‘Do you have any tattoos?’” Richardson told Rose. “He said, ‘No, sir. I don’t have any.’ I said, ‘Do you have any piercings?’ He said, ‘No, sir. I don’t have any.’ I said, ‘We want to keep it that way.’ . . . .

    Where in this sentence did Mr. Richardson say he couldn’t have a tattoo or any piercings? He strongly recommended it stay the way it is.

  96. berniemadoffsides says: Aug 24, 2011 8:47 AM

    It’d be racist if he said it to all black players… which he didn’t. I think he has a right to tell the face of his franchise to not look like a disgrace – not sure why so many people are taking offense to this.

  97. vikingdoode says: Aug 24, 2011 8:49 AM

    im not a supporter of owner meddling in his employees personal time. BUT I think im reading into Richardson’s intentions the face of the franchise will make both of them money if he is clean of those markings. Its America and both can do what they want in this country. Cam didn’t have to sign the contract, and Richardson can run his own business.

    I don’t have any tat’s I’m not against it I just haven’t found something to put on my body forever.

    really a non issue

  98. jesweeney11 says: Aug 24, 2011 8:53 AM

    First of all, there is no race issue here. I commend Richardson for saying what is on his mind and being upfront with Cam Newton. How many would just harbor a disdain and not address it?

    The bottom line is the man is saying that right now I don’t want you to leave this franchise and we will all benefit from it. However, here are the rules that I want you to play with. If Cam chooses to do something contrary to the owners wishes then Richardson will no doubt calculate it when decided to resign him or not. He owns the team and has done nothing wrong in stating that to him.

    He will not fine or discipline him, but what it will do is strain the relationship between the two. I think we are seeing more and more owners stay out of the football side of things. Instead they are becoming more involved in the Global Business that their team is and investing their personal time into the players, employees, and teams. A perfect example is Robert Kraft and his relationships with his team. Each do it different, but that is the end goal.

  99. 2ndaryinsanity says: Aug 24, 2011 8:54 AM

    Tattoo’s & body piercing have definately become more mainstream & acceptable. Hell, I took my mother-in-law to get her 1st tattoo for her 60th birthday. In many cases, people use tattoo’s/piercings as a form of self-expression. I have several tat’s that are in memory of loved one’s who have died…as well as several others that have special meaning. Not everyone who has tattoo’s is a gang-banger or crimminal.

    That being said, most businesses have dress codes for their employees. As others have pointed out, the Yankee’s enforce a dress code for their players. Business owners (and the NFL is a business) have a right to do so. (I’ve always made sure my tattoo’s can be covered up when the need arises).

    Some employers even take it a step further…My partner is a firefighter, and she had to sign a “morals clause” as part of her employment contract with the city. This clause is enforced @ ALL TIMES…whether she is on or off duty.

    A bigger issue (in my mind) is that an owner shouldn’t be able to selectively enforce any policy on any one employee.

  100. chitownjeff says: Aug 24, 2011 8:55 AM

    Big diff to being the face of the franchise and being a backup linebacker.. Richardson has a reasonable point in this manner..

    Newton will be the first face in all of the ads for the team and organization.. This is kin to Cowherd making his point that Romo needs to take that damn backwards baseball cap off..

  101. uncwseahawks25 says: Aug 24, 2011 8:57 AM

    Jerry Richardson is becoming the East Coast Al Davis

  102. quirtevans says: Aug 24, 2011 9:01 AM

    What CCDDAY said. Exactly.

    If the boss tells you to do something, you do it, or you risk losing your job. It isn’t illegal for the boss to discriminate against people with tattoos or piercings.

    On the other hand, if it doesn’t interfere with your job function, it’s not in the boss’s interest to lose talented employees because of the personal choices they make.

    Richardson is entitled to tell Newton to do anything he wants. Newton is entitled to pay attention, or to ignore him, and the CBA doesn’t give Richardson any freedom to fine him. Richardson is entitled to cut him, if he likes, but that would be contrary to his interests, if Newton is as good as Richardson thinks.

    There are enough teams that don’t care about tattoos and piercings that I don’t think that will be Newton’s issue, assuming he has the make-up to live up to his athletic talent.

    However, Richardson definitely has control issues, so Newton would be smart not to make this an issue. In any job, you have to understand and be prepared to deal with the boss’s personality quirks and pet peeves.

  103. mike83ri says: Aug 24, 2011 9:02 AM

    So I guess he’d pass on Tom Brady because his hair is too long?

    This is the NFL. If you’re more concerned with your QBs looks than his dedication and hard-work, than that explains why you haven’t drafted a good one in as long as I can remember.

  104. mwcarolina says: Aug 24, 2011 9:04 AM

    it makes little sense why Richardson is saying no tattoos or piercings to one guy, but not to others, but oh well.

  105. raider17 says: Aug 24, 2011 9:04 AM

    Everybody has made good points in this discussion. Jerry Richardson has every right to ask that a player not have tats or piercings. It’s his team so he can do so. On the other hand I’m a little disapointed in Cam. Whether he wanted to get a tattoo or not he should have stood his ground and said respectfully sir, I don’t have any tattoos or piercings, but I alone will decide if I do or I don’t. There are 31 other that might want to employ me, so it’s your choice sir!
    If he doesn’t have any at this age he probably doesn’t want them, but it’s the principle. C’mon Cam show a pair! Where is Allen Iverson when you need him?

  106. qdog112 says: Aug 24, 2011 9:06 AM

    Call it what you want. It’s fact of life. The standards are not the same for everybody/everywhere. If Jerry wants the “face of the Panthers” to appear clean-cut, that’s his right. Cam does not have an issue with it. There is something special about being and NFL QB and Cam fully appreciates and understands that.

    This is not so much about race as it is about, the bottom line – which is money. The reality is that this is a business and if you turn off your customers, you hurt the profit. You must appeal to your demographic.
    What flies in NY or even the ATL may not work in the Charlotte market.

  107. kevinfromphilly says: Aug 24, 2011 9:07 AM

    I have no opinion about whether players should have tattoos or not. I think they’re stupid looking, but that’s just me. On the other hand, the fact that THIS was the first thing the owner asked his new player about may show why this franchise has gone downhill so quickly. First thing he should have asked his new QB is whether he though he could win a Super Bowl.

  108. thewizardsrevenge says: Aug 24, 2011 9:09 AM

    Paying him millions?

    D@amn right he can dictate as he chooses.

    Thank you Jerry.

  109. bdickey33 says: Aug 24, 2011 9:09 AM

    There is a difference in telling players and asking players. I have no problem with asking players. Your poll question says “telling players” which is a problem. It sounds to me like Jerry was asking him to keep it the way he has.

  110. qdog112 says: Aug 24, 2011 9:11 AM

    This interview took place BEFORE the draft. He didn’t draft the guy and then say theses things. He was up front in the pre-draft interview, when deciding whether to draft Cam.


  111. fbman says: Aug 24, 2011 9:16 AM

    Its not like this is new. The yankees do the same stuff in baseball.

  112. quirtevans says: Aug 24, 2011 9:19 AM

    “Everybody has made good points in this discussion. Jerry Richardson has every right to ask that a player not have tats or piercings. It’s his team so he can do so. On the other hand I’m a little disapointed in Cam. Whether he wanted to get a tattoo or not he should have stood his ground and said respectfully sir, I don’t have any tattoos or piercings, but I alone will decide if I do or I don’t. There are 31 other that might want to employ me, so it’s your choice sir!
    If he doesn’t have any at this age he probably doesn’t want them, but it’s the principle. C’mon Cam show a pair! Where is Allen Iverson when you need him?”

    Cam wanted the money that comes with being the #1 pick. And I’m sure his agent wanted the commission on that money. They wanted that more than they wanted to stand on principle, piss off Richardson, and take the risk of dropping in the draft.

    It’s a legitimate choice. It may not be your choice, and it may not be the most courageous choice, but it’s a legitimate choice.

  113. axespray says: Aug 24, 2011 9:21 AM

    Cam Newton Just Checked his map and realized he’s in that country called “AMERICA”….

    ‘nough said.

  114. pftequalsgreatjournalism says: Aug 24, 2011 9:23 AM

    Too funny..All you knuckleheads comparing your company policy on tattoos to the NFL is as flawed as the NFLPA being compared to the UAW…


  115. whynotusecommonsense says: Aug 24, 2011 9:24 AM

    At least Cam knows how he can get out of Carolina if he wants.

    Not a big deal though, most employers want employees to look professional. Is a tattoo unprofessional?

  116. freedomispopular says: Aug 24, 2011 9:30 AM

    McDonald’s can tell me pretty much the same thing. An NFL owner can tell his employers whatever he wants.

  117. evilboy128 says: Aug 24, 2011 9:30 AM

    I agree that this is both troubling and disturbing to say the least However, I have noticed that this is yet another example of the new corporate mentality that is being allowed to take over this country. Personal individuality and freedoms are being taken more and more by corporations that see their workforce as disposable and easily replaceable, hence, they believe they can tell you what to think, who to be, what you do with your body, they monitor what you say on facebook, twitter, and other social media in order to try to stifle personal opinions and thoughts. By even asking this question of Cam, JR has now planted a seed in Cam’s mind that maybe he should ask JR before doing anything that Massa JR don’t prefer. Hair style, personal choices, selection of spouse, where to eat, (god forbid he is seen eating at IHOP instead of Denny’s) what to wear, where to go, etc, etc, ad nasuem. This mentality is being shoved down all of america’s work force as Unions are being forced out. You are watching the sterilization of this country happening right before your eyes…and I notice that most of you responders…are already touting the corporate line…like good lemmings do. ah…I remember when America used to be alot more about personal freedom (about 10-12 years ago) and less about conforming to the new corporate america that is now in control. is

  118. tatum064 says: Aug 24, 2011 9:31 AM

    chrisbntx says:
    Aug 24, 2011 5:45 AM
    I’m not sure why NFL players should be any different. Most companies have an expectation that their leaders present themselves in a certain way. While Cam is not a front office guy he is the CEO on the field. He doesn’t seem to have any issues with the request so I’m not sure it’s even a problem. If it does become an issue he can always request a trade to the Raiders or Bengals.
    We already have our Cam Newton. Terrelle Pryor.

  119. bullcharger says: Aug 24, 2011 9:34 AM

    It’s ok to have dress codes and other policies for an organization, but young players have tattoos and piercings. If teams want shrink the talent pool they pick from then all the power too them. Pittsburgh, New England and New York are thought to have the best onwership and those rules don’t exist. They just want the most talented guys.

  120. alltimeballa says: Aug 24, 2011 9:35 AM

    There is a difference between “this is our policy” and, “do you have any tattos? Good keep it that way.” That is total BS. When has it ever been cool to make up rules as we go? If your company says “no tattos’ or ‘No piercing” it is a written policy. To tell Cam in this way borders on taking away his freedom on speech through written expression. It also seems to say more than we own your services and borders on we own you.

  121. santolonius says: Aug 24, 2011 9:36 AM

    i’m not sure why the first reaction to all these stories where the league seeks to impose some sort of standard on its players has to be negative.
    — (and by the way richardson is right, a mother or father will have a lot tougher time convincing their kids to NOT get tattoos if the local sports hero is covered in them. some families are probably turning off pro sports right now, just because of this explosion of tats in the last 15 years.)

  122. abr173rd says: Aug 24, 2011 9:36 AM

    From a business stand point Mr. Richardson is well within his rights to make that request. Most employers have some sort of dress code employees must stick to-even our military when it comes to tattoos and piercings.

    Bottom line is He’s there to win games and win fans which equals more money for the franchise. It’s a business and some of those things do alienate fans which is alienating customers.

  123. thespeaker08 says: Aug 24, 2011 9:37 AM

    Name one great leader to have earrings or other visible piercings.

    Tattoos…shmeh… not so much. But Earrings denote immaturity.

    Nothing worse than going to the doctors office and my freaking nurse has a nose piercing.

  124. realitypolice says: Aug 24, 2011 9:41 AM

    freedomispopular says:
    Aug 24, 2011 9:30 AM
    McDonald’s can tell me pretty much the same thing. An NFL owner can tell his employers whatever he wants.

    The difference is you can also go to another restaurant that allows tats and piercings.

    Cam Newton has no opportunity, zero, to find gainful employment in his chosen field other than to work for JR.

  125. albanyhawker says: Aug 24, 2011 9:44 AM

    I’m a bleeding heart liberal, but believe Richardson is within his rights here, and it’s to Cam’s best interest. He’s an extremely handsome man, and with a little success on the field, can parlay that into a lucrative marketing deal. Now, if he gets all tatted and pierced up like Dennis Rodman, his options will be fewer.

    The Yankees have a long standing ban on facial hair and long hair, and that’s been working all right for them over the years.

  126. 3yrsnfl says: Aug 24, 2011 9:44 AM

    I bet Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning don’t have any tattoos or piercings. Peyton sure makes alot of extra money in endorsements. I think Cam wants to be the next commercial superstar. It won’t happen if he has alot of tatoos or piercings. Or says something stupid. That’s just the way it is.

  127. hatrhurter says: Aug 24, 2011 9:45 AM

    there’s a big difference between an owner of a business and the owner of a sports team that alot of you are not mentioning. owners of a business don’t actively seek out 1 person, they set a standard that all applicants have to adhere to. owners of sports teams seek out particular players because of their talent and therefore those players have the power to say whether or not they will adhere to any dress code that is set out. if the owner is more concerned with the dress code than whether or not they have that particular talent then that’s their problem.

  128. pantherguy344 says: Aug 24, 2011 9:45 AM

    No visible tattoos and no piercings has been a policy at every job I’ve ever had. He’s going to represent a whole franchise. So what if he doesn’t want his team represented by someone with sleeved up arms and a long hair cut. Its his team. Believe it or not he’s no dummy. In the time it took me to post this he prolly sold 10,000 chicken biscuits. Bottom line is its up to the owner to decide how the team is presented to the fans.

  129. gudy2shoes says: Aug 24, 2011 9:49 AM

    You can ask them, not tell them. If you explain the business reasons , most would go along. They want the money too.

  130. joetoronto says: Aug 24, 2011 9:50 AM

    uncwseahawks25 says: Aug 24, 2011 8:57 AM

    Jerry Richardson is becoming the East Coast Al Davis
    Al Davis???

    The man who was the first to hire a first ever owner to hire a black man as a HC, the first to ever hire a Hispanic as a HC and the first ever to hire a female executive?

    THAT Al Davis?

    Ask yourself this, ole wise one.

    If Jerry Richardson is a racist, how come he drafted Newton to be the face of the franchise?

    Ya, exactly.

  131. theytukrjobs says: Aug 24, 2011 9:51 AM

    There is nothing wrong with the owner telling Cam his preferences with tatoos. Just as long as it isn’t in the form of a threat or ultimatum. In the end it is Cam’s decision how idiotic he wants to make himself look. In this country we have the freedom to make bad decisions.

    If Cam is a decent guy who wants to be a franchise QB he’d probably just not get tatoos and piercings anyways.

    A sign of maturity would be to not get the tat’s to appease the owner and not really give a crap about it either. A man child would go get tatoos despite what the guy said.

  132. poprock48 says: Aug 24, 2011 9:51 AM

    I find nothing as silly as when people try to compare playing in the NFL to a regular job.

  133. phathead7 says: Aug 24, 2011 9:57 AM

    if the owner is paying the face of a franchise millions and he does not want his franchise player haveing tatoos or pierceing that is cool to me.i worked as a waiter and i had to take my pierceings out and cover my tatoos when i was at work,because i was a represenitive of the if the owner of a million dollar company does not want you to have tats or pierceing than you should not have them

  134. popwarner says: Aug 24, 2011 9:57 AM

    drmonkeyarmy says:
    Aug 24, 2011 6:29 AM
    Tattoos are the new mainstream. Also, I doubt paying customers will care about any of that assuming TD’s are being put on the board.


    That may hold true for fans. Most fans will still come, even if they think the player is not a role model.

    But I bet its not always the case with sponsors and advertisers and the business that pay to be affiliated with the team.

  135. gregjennings85 says: Aug 24, 2011 10:03 AM

    I hate tattos, that being said, if I were Cam’s friend, I would be advising him to go out and get some ink, ASAP.

  136. quirtevans says: Aug 24, 2011 10:10 AM

    “I find nothing as silly as when people try to compare playing in the NFL to a regular job.”

    In some ways yes, in some ways no.

    There are huge differences, to be sure, but the same laws apply.

  137. marcinhouston says: Aug 24, 2011 10:15 AM

    “We want” is not the same as “I order” or “you must.” If the Panthers owner feels that a certain outcome will lead to better marketing and sales while also happening to agree with his values then why shouldn’t he say he wants that outcome? Whether he will get it or not is Cam’s choice. At least hopefully Cam will show better judgement than Pryor and avoid getting any tattoos on his throwing arm in the 24 hours leading up to a game, that habit really hurt Pryors consistency.

  138. jonbeaston says: Aug 24, 2011 10:16 AM

    I don’t see what the big deal is. The New York Yankees do the same thing with all of their players. No long hair, no facial hair, etc, and no one has a problem with that.

  139. cschick2317 says: Aug 24, 2011 10:16 AM

    JR has the right to say he doesn’t want a QB with tattoos and piercings. Employers generally don’t want people with visible tats/excessive piercings interfacing with customers…unfortunately some NFL players are pretty much always interfacing with customers because they are famous.

    That being said, I don’t think tats/piercings are as big of a deal as JR thinks they are. It might be just me, but I care a lot more about how a player acts on and off the field than about how many body mods they have.

    Take Donald Driver for example…he wears two big earrings and it looks like (from a quick google image search) he has some tattoos on his arms. Would I care if he was the face of Packers? No. He seems like an all around great guy.

    I do understand that things can be taken to the extreme to the point of alienating people even though your behavior is perfect (it’s harder to relate to someone with multiple facial piercings and a grill than someone without those things)…but overall I think it’s overkill to say no tats/piercings at all.

  140. birds4ever says: Aug 24, 2011 10:21 AM

    Please explain to me why it would be so crazy for ownership to enforce something like this. It happens in many different workplaces. From hair length, to facial hair, and most certainly tattoos (can you imagine a big professional law or accounting firm having a employee with tattoos and piercings all over their bodies?). The only issue is:

    a) Whether the team is willing to enforce the code to everyone fairly.

    b) Whether the CBA allows for it.

  141. frankrizzo51 says: Aug 24, 2011 10:32 AM

    He should just say no thanks, go get a couple of tats and sign with the Colts for less money and he can sit behind Manning.

  142. pantherguy344 says: Aug 24, 2011 10:34 AM

    Im a banker. If the bank guaranteed me 22 million bucks in exchange for not mutilating my body, im pretty sure im gonna take that deal. 22 million or needles in my nose and ears? Hmmmmm…

  143. hammertoe11 says: Aug 24, 2011 10:36 AM

    3octaveFart says:
    Aug 24, 2011 8:24 AM
    I didn’t know Jerry Richardson was a Michelle Bachmann backer…

    NOW that is FUNNY. Best comment of the day…

  144. pitch87mph says: Aug 24, 2011 10:40 AM

    And such is life! I’m in professional services. I have no visible tats and no piercings–because it’s BAD FOR BUSINESS!!! And if I got them, and suddenly was let go, can I really say my “rights” have been infringed upon? This is absurd! Employers (particularly those paying you millions) making these type of desires known is totally reasonable. You can do anything you want. But you can’t do EVERYTHING you want. There are trade offs. I removed my piercings, because it’s frowned upon in my profession. Such is life. If I want piercings or tats, I can go do something else. But I can’t have BOTH at this stage in my career. If Newton wants a tat, wait until you’re washed up in 4 years.

  145. qdog112 says: Aug 24, 2011 10:56 AM

    This was a PRE-DRAFT interview. It was simply a job interview. The candidate and employer were on the same page. No surprises. Cam liked what he heard, Richardson liked what he saw and heard. Cam was hired.


  146. zinn22 says: Aug 24, 2011 11:00 AM

    In the real world one is not restricted to one team or look for a new line of unemployment. If you do not like your employers grooming policy you can seek out one that better suits your style. In the NFL a player does not have that choice and therefore should not be forced into an image he does not want.

    That being said if Newton is going to be the face of the franchise the Panthers have the right to tell him the image they want him to portray. They asked him before the draft if he could be that public face and he agreed. He certainly has a right to do whatever he wants. But he would be smart to play along.

    While I disagree with Richardson on many many things. I think he is a control freak with some serious anger issues. I do not think its unreasonable that he wants a certain image for his franchise. As usual the folks here are writing an article about nothing to create page hits and controversy.

  147. capslockkey says: Aug 24, 2011 11:04 AM

    Of course teams have the right to at least request this. Anyone who’s worked in the real world knows this isn’t uncommon. How many bankers have you come across with facial tattoos and lip rings? These players are supposed to be professionals and are paid like they are.

    I have no problem with people who love tattoos (I know several) and want to cover their body in them, but just don’t complain about your lack of job prospects because you don’t look very professional no matter how you dress.

  148. feartheelf19 says: Aug 24, 2011 11:10 AM

    You should be able to suggest to the face of your franchise that he should keep it toned down and not get to wild in public. These should be implied when you are put in place to be the “Face!”

    He should be able to get tattoos, I mean look at major superstar athletes with tattoos. I dont agree with facial and neck tattoos, and primarily an ear piercing really is not that big of a deal. But I believe what Richardson is doing is to save face and not create any unwarranted stereotypes or problems within his organization. And for that I applaud him.

    In saying that Cam is up for it and he will be great, it is just going to take some time.

  149. mcgrat says: Aug 24, 2011 11:17 AM

    jonbeaston says:Aug 24, 2011 10:16 AM

    I don’t see what the big deal is. The New York Yankees do the same thing with all of their players. No long hair, no facial hair, etc, and no one has a problem with that.


    Big difference, in the case of the Yankees it’s team wide, where with Cam it’s just him.

  150. tformation says: Aug 24, 2011 11:37 AM

    Richardson might as well have told Cam: “If you ever feel slighted by me and want to piss me off, get yourself a tattoo.”

  151. nineroutsider says: Aug 24, 2011 11:41 AM

    The poll results are sad. You have to love the way that Americans are being conditioned; don’t let Government tell you anything, but do everything that your boss tells you.

    Obviously this poll isn’t important, but other more telling polls show the same thing.

  152. 11coreya says: Aug 24, 2011 11:54 AM

    At any job the boss has the right to tell his employee what he can and can’t do. Richardson is trying to keep Cam Newton’s already tainted name from getting anymore questionable.

  153. cindyanda says: Aug 24, 2011 12:16 PM

    Previous to this article, I was down on Cameron Newton. Now, having found out he doesn’t have tattoos or piercings, he’s gone up a few notches in my eyes. I absolutely HATE looking at those players with tattoos up and down their arms, gold teeth, big diamonds in both of their ear lobes and hair down to their a$$. I’m perfectly OK with JR telling him how he should represent JR’s franchise.

  154. realtalklaty says: Aug 24, 2011 12:21 PM

    Mane Richardson is a hypocrite did he not wanted Mike Vick at one point……SMH

  155. bigbeefyd says: Aug 24, 2011 12:28 PM

    My boss won’t let me have visible tats or piercings (I work for a bank, where I am a member of senior management). Company policy should apply here as well, in my opinion.

  156. rollerino1 says: Aug 24, 2011 12:49 PM

    I find Cam’s clean cut look refreshing in the world of sports these days; much like Dwight Howard. I believe they both come from religious families.

  157. denverdude7 says: Aug 24, 2011 12:56 PM

    Better keep him away from LameBron James then.

    Some of that ink might rub off.

  158. asublimeday says: Aug 24, 2011 1:08 PM

    “and no rap music. And I don’t want you hanging around that no-good tyrone or that shank shaquanda!”

  159. granadafan says: Aug 24, 2011 1:10 PM

    Richardson is just helping Cam be an entertainer and an icon….. to middle aged white people, just like himself.

    Kudos to Cam for being well dressed and respectable to a potential owner.

  160. danyboy1016 says: Aug 24, 2011 1:16 PM

    I for one do not mind a boss/owner being allowed to dictate to his employees what they can or can not wear, decorate, etc… Cam was drafted and signed a contract with the team to play in Carolina. Being drafted by a team does not give Cam his only option look at Eli Manning he was not originally drafted by the Giants. What makes you part of the team is not the draft but the contract that is signed, which most NFL contract do have a morality/ dress code clause look at Plexico Buress and others who violate their teams contracts by doing stupid things.
    And to those who say there is no place that would fire an employee over tattoos and such I can name several Two are family entertainment venues namely Walt Disney who has strict policies against and Universal Entertainment. Also look to the military, sure soldiers, sailors, and airmen get tats, but if they are visible like on the face or hands they are subject to article 15 under the USMJ destruction or harm to Government Property like the individual who could be reduced in rank and subject to discharge.

  161. bigtrouble says: Aug 24, 2011 1:22 PM

    no one cares about your jobs or your bosses rules
    you ppl mean nothing, could find a monkey to do your job

  162. bigtrouble says: Aug 24, 2011 1:29 PM

    so if tom brady went out this offseason and got tatted up then got piercings all over his body, the pats wouldnt want him???

  163. mrbluedevil04 says: Aug 24, 2011 1:52 PM

    As a Panthers fan, this is one of the biggest non stories i have ever read on this site. Even Cam Newton is winning football games, him being tatted up will have nothing to do with it. A winning QB gets the endorsements, so as long as he win games then his endorsements will be there.

  164. hobartbaker says: Aug 24, 2011 2:07 PM

    Facial feature distorting PEDs are allowed though.

  165. colinsnooks says: Aug 24, 2011 2:24 PM

    This is funny. These JR backers are really excited about being model employees and doing what your boss says. Then again, they are probably just like me, wasting time at work, reading and posting on PFT. Then again, most of these comments that hate on people with tattoos really sound like Abe Simpson. They should call this site OldFogeyTalk instead.

  166. Mr. Wright 212 says: Aug 24, 2011 2:51 PM

    I actually don’t mind this and agree with the sentiment. As the face of the organization for (presumably, if everything goes well) the next 10+ years, if not for life, you want to roll out a conservative image.

  167. pigeonpea says: Aug 24, 2011 2:53 PM

    Richardson is an idiot. As long as there continue to be other players on his team with tats or piercings, Newton can make a clear-cut case for discrimination if he is disciplined for getting either himself.

    The reality is if Newton is playing top-level ball, Jerry isn’t going to say jack-sh!t to him about his appearance, much less bench him for it. If Newton busts, he’ll be off the team regardless if he has any tats or not.

    End of Story.

  168. pigeonpea says: Aug 24, 2011 3:05 PM

    realitypolice says:
    The difference is you can also go to another restaurant that allows tats and piercings.

    Cam Newton has no opportunity, zero, to find gainful employment in his chosen field other than to work for JR.

    I guess it is a fair assumption you have never heard of the CFL, UFL or Arena Football League.

  169. titan40 says: Aug 24, 2011 3:08 PM

    LMAO @ mrmilstead, haven’t seen a comment that good in a while.

  170. macjacmccoy says: Aug 24, 2011 3:32 PM

    Are you guys Fn kidding me? More people think the owners have the right to tell a guy if he can get tattoos and piercings or not? Wow the readers on this sight make me sick sometimes. You are the biggest herd of sheep I have ever seen. You guys side with the people in power on everything. If the owners made rules about when the players where allowed to go number 2 you would probably approve.

  171. oldhamletman says: Aug 24, 2011 3:43 PM

    you don’t get labor protection for discrimination against tats, piercings, smoking, having kids, being a Nazi or any one of a multitude of personal traits…

    the guy owns a team and has a right to employ whomever he chooses to as long as he doesn’t discriminate on a very specific set of items……. end of story.

  172. buckybadger says: Aug 24, 2011 3:58 PM

    @oldhamletman, than he has to put those rules in for everyone and not single people out. There are laws against being singled out like that. Never bothered him about Steve Smith’s tats.

  173. buckybadger says: Aug 24, 2011 3:59 PM

    It is a joke people support such dumb rules to be enforced on someone.

  174. deegizzle says: Aug 24, 2011 4:00 PM

    To everyone that keeps talking about “my company’s policy handbook has this”…This doesn’t apply to this situation because Cam is being singled out. If this is Richardson’s “policy,” why isn’t the whole team held to this standard?

    I’m not arguing the merit of the request with this post, but I do think you’re off base if you’re throwing out the “companies have policies” line here.

  175. steveb9995 says: Aug 24, 2011 4:04 PM

    Those who say Richardson can run his business as he sees fit, that they’ve had jobs that forbid tattoos, etc. should remember–and how could they forget–that Newton, as a union member, is covered by a collective bargaining agreement that sets out the conditions of his employment.

    Unless the contract says so, Richardson doesn’t have any business telling anyone how they can look.

  176. quirtevans says: Aug 24, 2011 4:18 PM

    deegizzle —

    You’re right. I made that point in another post. A direction to a single employee isn’t a policy. A policy has to be written and has to apply uniformly to everyone in similar circumstances.

    And no, the circumstance can’t be a policy that applies to #1 draft picks or star quarterbacks.

  177. tre4rere says: Aug 24, 2011 5:01 PM

    It is completely up to the owner how his team looks, just as it is in any business. But it is rediculous to think that people would watch the NFL less if all the players had tattoos and piercings. When bosses complain about tattoos and such it is because they feel the tattoos are embarassing and they dont want to lose business. With regards to the NFL, people would watch it still if the players wore snuggies instead of uniforms.

  178. pantherguy344 says: Aug 24, 2011 6:36 PM

    Turning this into a race issue is completely absurd. If my memory serves me correctly Jerry was a big supporter of the rooney rule. He hired a latino hc, drafted an african american QB, and steve smith adores him(and he hates everybody). He doesnt care about Shockey’s appearance b/c Shockey isnt on sportscenter on a daily basis wearing a panthers jersey. If he is quoted correctly there was no ultimatim, so there should be no issue. So what if hes old school. He grew up during WWII for crying out loud. Id be grouchy too if i was in my 70’s. And as for the senile comments, he’s made more money than the Beatles selling burgers and biscuits.

  179. 2ndaryinsanity says: Aug 24, 2011 7:04 PM

    To: BIGTROUBLE…how dare you judge people here in such a manner? Claiming that our jobs mean nothing & that “monkey’s could do it.” You know NOTHING about any of us….some are firefighters who run into a burning building to save lives & property. Some are police officers who are willing to take a bullet to protect your stupid a##. Paramedics and school teachers who work long hours for peanuts, because they want to make a positive impact on other people’s lives. I could go on with many more examples, but hopefully even your ignorant and mean- spirited brain can understand. People are giving examples of how things are in the workplace for non-professional athletes…because (some of) these athletes are often out of touch with the reality of their fans’ lives.

  180. phaktor333 says: Aug 24, 2011 7:23 PM

    I know there are those who will argue the New York Yankees ‘no facial hair’ rules if one wants to play for the organization. That is fine. However, the players that chose to go there generally are free agents and choose to acquiesce to that rule. They trade 90% of their drafted prospects anyway, but the guys they do bring up go along because that is the standard in the locker room amongst the veterans. With Cam Newton, I understand Jerry’s position; he wants a clean cut guy to represent the franchise. However, what Cam does with his body outside the realm of being in shape, keeping himself healthy and making sure he is prepared to lead the team effectively, is none of the owner’s business. However, there is a middle visible tattoos. Artwork on his neck, arms and any area that is exposed outside of normal clothing and the uniform should be cool.

  181. quirtevans says: Aug 25, 2011 9:40 AM

    You meant isn’t in the last sentence, phaktor. And, with that change, you’re right.

    No one can reasonably claim that a tattoo on a player’s butt affects his “appearance”. And the CBA limits the team’s rules in this regard to reasonable rules about “appearance”.

    Someone made a decent point about piercings, though. That could be construed to be a health and safety issue, particularly in a contact sport. The easy solution is to remove non-visible piercings when you put on the uniform.

  182. greenmodulars says: Aug 26, 2011 1:15 AM

    Big Cat Richardson said he was aggressive in FREE AGENCY- Ha, signed NO ONE NEW-ran off Julius Peppers whom Chicago loves and traded for Gregg Olson which is not a free agency signing– To dictate what a person can do is ok if you dont sell and make your HUGE PROFITS from Grease filled Bonjangles doublely fried chicken & Hardees Big Fat burgers which is cloggin up arteries in the south causing heart attacks & OBEeSITY- And he basically didnt get crap for his hardass stand in the CBA – Cam Newton must be thinkin your players suck and no wonder this team sucks- he is smoke and mirrors- what he gonna say when they go 1-15? AGAIN

  183. 808raiderinparadise says: Aug 26, 2011 4:28 PM

    6 of 19 against the bengals. he should be allowed to get a “BUST” tattoo on his forehead.

  184. discosucs2005 says: Aug 27, 2011 1:19 AM

    If he wants to cut all the players on the panthers with tattoos or piercings than he can tell Cam not to have any. If not, than he’s way out of line.

  185. leapyrman says: Aug 31, 2011 4:39 PM

    Aren’t there baseball teams that dictate whether a player can grow a beard? The NBA says the players must wear “normal” clothes before and after games. As a citizen in the corporate world, if I wear tattoos, I can rest assured there are jobs I will never be allowed to fill especially if I face the public in any capacity.

    Why all the indignation because the owner wants the face of his franchise to be Wheaties cereal cover material? If you had something worth 500 million dollars, would you be worried what any of the posters on PFT thought?

  186. ehaislop says: Nov 29, 2011 12:00 PM

    Okay so I agree with the whole no visible tattoos in the normal workplace but the NFL is a lot different you don’t apply for a team like you do in a normal job you’re DRAFTED so I think the players can look however they want to and not have to pay the price because they got selected to a team with a strict coach.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!