Report: Four former Panthers employees have received “significant settlements”

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So why did the Panthers launch an investigation regarding workplace misconduct by team owner Jerry Richardson? Because the Panthers found out that someone else already was.

That someone was Sports Illustrated, and the SI story has landed, with L. Jon Wertheim and Viv Bernstein authoring a lengthy item with plenty of details about the situation.

Per the report, SI became aware of at least four former team employees “who have received significant settlements” from Richardson. The settlements came in exchange for what SI ominously calls a “vow of silence,” but a confidentiality provision has become an extremely common term in civil settlements.

The settlements were, per the report, for “sexual harassment against female employees and for directing a racial slur at an African-American employee.” And the “playbook” mentioned in the article of non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements in exchange for cash is hardly unique to Richardson; no competent lawyer would allow money to change hands to resolve claims of this nature without the inclusions of terms like that in the official paperwork.

Regardless, the non-disclosure terms are now being breached, and it could be that there were enough settlements that the Panthers won’t be able to figure out who’s violating the agreement.

The article contains plenty of details regarding the alleged misbehavior, from comments made to female employees on Jeans Day to a “seatbelt maneuver” (which sounds a lot like Frank Costanza’s favorite move) to requesting to shave the legs of female employees to seeking foot massages to giving back rubs that sometimes strayed too far down the spine.

“No one ever said anything, at least not that I heard,” one former Panthers employee told SI. “He was the boss. It was [viewed] more of a creepy-old-man thing than a threat.”

The racial component is, so far, isolated to one employee — a former scout who left the team earlier this year and received a settlement. Per the report, Richardson directed a racial slur at the scout.

The fact that the Panthers would need to investigate the situation now seems even more odd, given that the Panthers presumably knew about these settlements. Surely, the paperwork signed by the potential plaintiffs contained language broad enough to prevent lawsuits not only against Richardson but also against the team. Even more surely, Panthers attorneys knew about the settled claims.

29 responses to “Report: Four former Panthers employees have received “significant settlements”

  1. lol!!! nailed it again! goodell is so predictable
    with me knowing what result he wants and how he can cheat
    to get the result.

    i had this nailed to the t yesterday

    nailed it! so obvious

  2. And we all know this won’t get as much outrage as players kneeling for the anthem. Where’s the outrage? He needs to be forced to sell the team like Donald Sterling. That’s the only way to make it right.

  3. gregbeau says:
    December 17, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    That SI story reads like tabloid-quality stuff. Lots of inflammatory writing without a whole lot behind it.

    Interesting take because I just got done reading it and it seemed to me that given the subject matter the piece was devoid of anything lurid.

  4. What struck me was the double standard. Owners get to keep secrets and pay people off. Players are subject to Goodell’s kangaroo court.

  5. “He needs to be forced to sell the team like Donald Sterling. That’s the only way to make it right.”


    I’m sure the people of Charlotte will be overjoyed if this occurs and the team relocates to London.

  6. Jerry is just an 81 year old billionaire owner with a new heart and lots of viagra. His legal settlements are distributing a little wealth to the needy former employees.

  7. Nothing will happen to an owner. Roger works for him. See Irsay and his briefcase full of cash and drugs.

  8. Doesn’t matter who leaked this unless they put a name to it but that won’t happen if they really did get a settlement to be quiet. This is exactly how rich people make things go away, just give it a few weeks.

  9. It’s Richardson, you know the owner of Denny’s who got hit with a major civil suit back in the day for not serving Black people in the restaurants. Once a racist always a racist probably thinks he’s back on the plantation, POS.

  10. And yet still begin game with a stadium wide prayer….a little hypocritical of the Richardson and Panthers organization.

  11. stinkymcmulligan says:
    December 17, 2017 at 2:25 pm
    This is nothing more than a democratic wiitchhunt against Republicans. Fact. End of story

    There’s always some douche nozzle who thinks that he’s clever by injecting a political slant into an issue where there isn’t one.

    Fact. End of story.

  12. @a1photoz says:
    December 17, 2017 at 2:09 pm
    And we all know this won’t get as much outrage as players kneeling for the anthem. Where’s the outrage? He needs to be forced to sell the team like Donald Sterling. That’s the only way to make it right.

    Well, if its to be handled the same way as the kneeling then Richardson’s behavior will get supported by the league. Half the fan base will applaud Richarsons behavior the other half will condemn it. Meanwhile Richardson will just keep on doing it.

  13. Geez, and it seemed like this guy didn’t deserve any respect before all this crap came out.

  14. So, the team (owned by Richardson) is conducting an investigation into this (after they’ve paid off at least 4 employees) and now the league (who’s commissioner reports to Richardson as one of the owners) is going to investigate it as well? What exactly are they going to find, that the team has indeed paid these individuals for their silence?

    I really hope 1 of those folks who got paid are blowing the whistle, just to see them get sued for breaking their confidentiality clause. I’m grabbing my popcorn for this one!

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