Richardson, who played for the Baltimore Colts in 1959-60, became the first former National Football League player since George Halas to own an National Football League team when he was awarded an expansion franchise on October 26, 1993.
Shortly after the NFL's decision, Sports Illustrated dropped a lengthy piece detailing a number of different allegations against Richardson including myriad freakish and utterly inappropriate things he allegedly did involving women in the workplace.
Team spokesman Steven Drummond said in a release that the Panthers and the 81-year-old Richardson take these allegations very seriously and are fully committed to a full investigation and taking appropriate steps to address and remediate any misconduct.
As they work to solidify a playoff spot, the Panthers also have another storyline competing for attention: the investigation of team owner, Jerry Richardson.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league has no comment at this time.
The team originally had retained worldwide law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP to conduct its investigation.
The news comes in the wake of a Sports Illustrated report that Richardson made sexually inappropriate comments to female employees and reached settlements on both sexual and racial allegations. And we have played in two Super Bowls.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, like most of the team's players, hadn't read the details of the report which came out just as the Panthers were preparing to play the Green Bay Packers.
"Politicizing the game is damaging and takes the focus off the greatness of the game itself and those who played it", Richardson said in the statement, via Panthers.com. "We talked about it - one of the things we talked about is you respect who is he for who he has been for you, more so than anything else", Rivera said. When we had the house fire, he was there for Stephanie and I and supported us. My brother passed and Mr. Richardson was there and helped me get to the funeral and back.
It has been a whirlwind year for the Panthers organization. The scout left the team this year-but not, according to sources, before he sought the counsel of a Charlotte attorney who negotiated a confidential settlement on his behalf. It was a surprising move considering Carolina made the playoffs three times in four seasons under Gettleman.