When David Tepper bought the Carolina Panthers in 2018, one stipulation of the sale was that the statue of disgraced former owner Jerry Richardson was to remain.
That’s why it was surprising to see a report Wednesday that a crew was working on taking the statue down.
Joe Bruno of WSOC was on the scene and reported that Charlotte Department of Transportation closed down the road near Bank of America Stadium so the statue could be taken down.
Im outside Bank of America Stadium. A crew is checking out the Jerry Richardson statue. A flatbed truck is here. pic.twitter.com/lY7rWyguKp— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) June 10, 2020
BREAKING: The Jerry Richardson statue is coming down. Charlotte DOT is about the close the road near Bank of America Stadium to allow the work to happen pic.twitter.com/WBagBz2i2p— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) June 10, 2020
The Charlotte Observer’s Scott Fowler reported the statue is being removed for safety reasons, according to a team source. Fowler reported the team will characterize it as a temporary arrangement.
The team confirmed it was for safety reasons.
We were aware of the most recent conversation surrounding the Jerry Richardson statue and are concerned there may be attempts to take it down. We are moving the statue in the interest of public safety.— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) June 10, 2020
Jerry Richardson statue being hoisted away. pic.twitter.com/ILRYjk55or— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) June 10, 2020
Jerry Richardson statue is off Panthers property. pic.twitter.com/TjpPsBPrRt— Joe Person (@josephperson) June 10, 2020
Richardson sold the team during a scandal reported in December of 2017 that included many stories of workplace misbehavior. The NFL fined Richardson $2.75 million after it substantiated the claims that were of a sexual and racial nature.
There has been debate and even legal cases about removing statues, often of Confederate figures, during recent protests about racial injustice. In some instances, statues have been torn down or vandalized.
Richardson, the original owner of the Panthers who is now 83 years old, had a history of racial misconduct.
The statue remained on the north end of the stadium due to Richardson insisting on it during the sale.
A spokesman for Jerry Richardson shared this statement on his statue being removed:— DaShawn Brown (@DaShawnWSOC9) June 10, 2020
“He has worked to treat all people fairly in his business and personal lives...” #NFL #KeepPounding pic.twitter.com/pd69t9kI4Z
More from Yahoo Sports: