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Panthers' New Owner Promises Culture Change

New Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper answers a question during a news conference at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Tepper finalized his purchase of the team on Monday.
Chuck Burton

The new owner of the Carolina Panthers said a culture change is coming to the organization, following years of sexual harassment by the team’s former owner.

David Tepper gave his first press conference as owner of the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday. He said the football side of the organization is in “pretty good shape” and he’s not looking to make many changes.


But Tepper is planning to change a front office atmosphere that prevented employees from talking openly about harassment.


“I can’t emphasize enough the openness I plan to have. Openness and team,” Tepper said.


Tepper said he'll accept nothing less than an "open and safe" work environment in Carolina.


Tepper is taking ownership from Jerry Richardson, who sold the team amidst a National Football League investigation into sexual harassment claims.


An NFL report recently confirmed those claims and said Richardson used nondisclosure agreements to silence harassment victims. Tepper said that won’t happen under his leadership.


“There’s not going to be nondislosure agreements no matter what in this new place. That was then, this is now,” Tepper said.


Despite the change in ownership, a 13-foot high statue of Richardson will remain outside Bank of America stadium in Charlotte.


Tepper said he’s "contractually obligated" to keep it there.

James Morrison is a national award-winning broadcast reporter with more than seven years experience working in radio and podcasts. His work has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now and multiple other radio outlets and podcasts. His reporting focuses on environmental and health issues, with a focus on the opioid epidemic and sustainable food systems. He was recognized with a national award for a story he reported for NPR on locally-sourced oyster farming. He also received a national award for his daily news coverage of firefighters killed in the line of duty. A podcast he produced about the fall of Saigon during the Vietnam War was accepted into the Hearsay International Audio Arts Festival.
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