CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Carolina Panthers have announced that an internal investigation is underway into allegations of workplace misconduct against the team's owner and founder, Jerry Richardson.
Richardson, who has owned the team since it began play as an NFL expansion franchise in the 1995 season, is 81.
According to officials, the investigation is being led by the outside international law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, LLP, and will be overseen by limited owner and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles.
"The Carolina Panthers and Mr. Richardson take these allegations very seriously and are fully committed to a full investigation and taking appropriate steps to address and remediate any misconduct," team spokesman Steven Drummond said. "The entire organization is fully committed to ensuring a safe, comfortable and diverse work environment where all individuals, regardless of sex, race, color, religion, gender, or sexual identity or orientation, are treated fairly and equally. We have work to do to achieve this goal, but we are going to meet it."
Because this matter is under an ongoing legal review, the Carolina Panthers cannot comment publicly on the specifics of the allegations.
"Erskine Bowles is a trusted leader of unquestioned integrity. We look forward to this report, which we know will be honest and thorough," Drummond said.
"I have had a strong relationship with Mr. Richardson during my time with the Panthers," coach Ron Rivera said in a statement to ESPN. "I have enormous respect for the man, but will wait for the results of the investigation before making any judgment."