Despite Being Forced Into Selling The Panthers Due To Millions Of Dollars Worth Of Sexual Harassment, Jerry Richardson's Statue Will Still Stand Tall
CharlotteObserver- In the final answer of his otherwise charming first press conference as the new owner of the Carolina Panthers, David Tepper said Tuesday he is “contractually obligated” to keep the 13-foot statue of former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson exactly where it stands outside the north gate of the stadium.
So Richardson turned out to have one final surprise in store for fans: A going-away present that means he will never quite go away at all.
The statue stays — Richardson insisted on it during negotiations. And because of that insistence, Richardson will remain in all his suited “glory” between two snarling black Panthers that are supposed to represent North and South Carolina.
I'm not going to lie to you, I laughed. I soon felt shame for doing so, but this self-aggrandizing display by someone who got pushed out of the cushiest of gigs for, at the very least, meeting the highest standard of scumbaggery in sports (your move, Donald Sterling) is so preposterously over-the-top that I couldn't help but find it funny at first. As a matter of fact, I should probably go easier on myself, since even the most trained of internet oddsmakers would consider this story to have a 50/50 shot of ending up satirical on initial analysis.
In retrospect, I don't know why I underrated the narcissism of someone that orchestrated the construction of his own 13 foot likeness and surrounded it with bronzed jungle cats. Still, the idea of an 81 year old man who had to pay victimized women and minorities a salary (and in a lot of cases, a settlement) for them to stomach spending time around him becoming the wrinkled face of vanity is enough to make Donald Trump tip his MAGA hat. For a disgraced figurehead to halt arbitration and demand that the most unrelentingly vicious of predators....and his pets remain erected in front of a stadium that no longer welcomes him before signing off on the forced sale of his pride and joy is egomania personified.
Jerry Richardson doesn't even care if he goes down in history as a racist pervert as long as his image stands tall in effigy as one with the Panthers. This negotiation was handled insanely poorly by whoever failed miserably in leveraging the prevalence of the #MeToo movement into the removal of an obnoxiously-sized statue honoring someone who, legally speaking, caused seven figures worth of emotional distress with his sexual harassment. However, the stipulation on which said deviant held uncompromising is undeniable proof that he is still shamelessly unapologetic. That creepy old fuck remaining immortalized is as stupid and unnecessary a reminder of organizational sins as you'll find, but at least the only Jerry Richardson that's still a fixture on the premises is ironically powerless to being objectified and provides quite the canvas for well-deserved defacement.