Attorney speaks on Jerry Richardson’s decision to sell the Panthers amidst misconduct investigation

The future of the franchise

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Like many other Charlotte residents, attorney Alonzo Alston has been following the new saga surrounding Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.

Alston practices entertainment and business law in Charlotte.

The Panthers announced Friday that Richardson was under investigation for misconduct and nearly two days later, Richardson said he was selling the team.

Alston thinks the decision to sell is smart on Richardson's part.

"It looks like Richardson and the Panthers organization getting out in front of the issue and grabbing the bull by the horns so that they can dictate the terms to the best of their ability while still dealing with the negative impacts of these statements," said Alston.

The attorney said he doesn't expect the current investigation into Richardson to have much of an impact on the sale.

"It's a valuable organization irrespective of any of these issues. Anybody who's buying it at this time is likely to receive a benefit for their investment," said Alston.

Speculation has already begun as to who may be willing to buy the team. Alston believes that the NFL will be looking for someone to serve as a face for the franchise. Rapper Diddy was one of the first to mention his desire to purchase the team. He posted about his hopes to own the franchise on social media.

"It doesn't have to be a Sean Combs (Diddy). It could be anybody that brings that extra factor that encourages people about the Charlotte market," explained Alston.

Charlotte City Council members were asked about the prospective sale at a meeting Monday night. Multiple members said they need to see who buys the team before any business decisions are made on the city's behalf.

"Unless you know who the new owner is, I think we won't be able to say for sure what that's going to look like until we know who that might be," said council member Larken Egleston when asked about trying to keep the team in Charlotte.

Council member James Mitchell echoed a similar statement.

"I think we're in a holding pattern to march," he said.

Several of the elected leaders made it clear they would like to see the team stay in Charlotte.

"I think we all want to say we were the city council that kept the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte," said Mitchell.

The council members hope the new owners have an affinity for the Queen City that makes them choose to keep the team in Charlotte long-term.

"Hopefully whoever comes in will recognize the beauty of our region and recognize that the Carolina Panthers need to stay right here at home," said council member Lawana Mayfield.

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