The most obvious question arising in the wake of the news that Panthers owner Jerry Richardson will sell the team after the season is whether his decision makes moot the NFL’s still-not-yet-started investigation regarding allegations of workplace misconduct. Asked that question on Sunday night, the NFL had no comment.
Chances are that the investigation will not proceed. Per a league source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL’s decision to take contract of the investigation sparked multiple conversations that prompted Richardson to decide to voluntarily end his ownership of the team, avoiding the various potential issues that could arise from an investigation and, possibly, an effort to involuntarily end his ownership of the team. With Richardson deciding to sell, the league likely will be standing down.
And so the situation played out much like the NBA’s expulsion of former Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The difference, however, is that Sterling was generally not well-liked by his partners. Richardson was, and still is. The league deserves credit for setting those concerns aside when taking steps that ultimately will bring to a conclusion Richardson’s 22-year ownership of the team.