When David Tepper bought the Panthers from Jerry Richardson in 2018, he said he was contractually obligated to keep the statue of Richardson in front of the stadium. On Wednesday, that statue was taken down. But Richardson will apparently not mount any kind of fight about it.
The statue is gone for good from Bank of America Stadium, Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer reports. The report says Richardson won’t sue over its removal and that the statue isn’t important to him.
The claim that the statue isn’t important to Richardson is suspect: Why would Tepper ever have been contractually obligated to keep it if Richardson hadn’t been pushing for that? But it’s possible that Tepper and Richardson have confidentially settled on an arrangement that allows Tepper to take the statue down, and Richardson is now OK with it.
Richardson sold the Panthers after he was accused of racially insensitive language toward a former team scout, as well as sexual harassment. As statues of Confederate leaders and Christopher Columbus get targeted across the country, the Panthers were concerned about the possible security implications of people taking removal of the Richardson statue upon themselves. So now the Panthers have taken it down, and it’s down for good.