Former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was fined $2.75 million Thursday by the National Football League following its investigation into sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace.
The investigation was conducted by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White and the league said it substantiated the allegations against Richardson, that the improper conduct was limited to him and that the team and its ownership failed to report the allegations or any resolution agreements to the league.
According to news reports, Richardson put the team up for sale in December after Sports Illustrated reported that Richardson made sexually suggestive comments to women and on at least one occasion directed a racial slur at an African-American Panthers scout.
Richardson has an agreement to sell the Panthers for $2.2 billion to hedge fund president and owner David Tepper. The league owners unanimously approved the sale last month, and the sale is expected to close in the next two weeks. Tepper is a former minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
NFL officials have said they didn’t know about the allegations against Richardson until Dec. 15, the same day the Panthers issued a news release first announcing its own investigation of Richardson’s alleged workplace misconduct. That was followed two days later by the Sports Illustrated report that detailed Richardson’s alleged misconduct.