4 legacy-defining moments of Carolina Panthers founder Jerry Richardson
Bringing Carolina Panthers football to Charlotte
Obviously, the biggest legacy Jerry Richardson leaves behind is the Carolina Panthers franchise itself. Had it not been for his sterling work and tireless commitment, fans would not have an NFL team to cheer for in Charlotte.
It’s that simple, really.
There were ups and downs. And as stated previously, the sexual and racial misconduct allegations that brought his eventual demise won’t ever be forgotten. But from a pure football standpoint, had Richardson not laid a strong claim to the expansion plans, the NFL would have gone to a bigger market all things considered.
This was highlighted by commissioner Roger Goodell in his statement following Richardson’s death. Adding that he was a caring advisor to the figurehead before being forced away.
"“The Carolina Panthers are a testament to his extraordinary and tireless dedication to the community. But his league-first attitude as seen through his leadership of numerous NFL committees … helped pave the way for a series of public-private stadium partnerships throughout the country, and collective bargaining agreements that continue to support the growth of the game. From a personal perspective, he was a wise and caring advisor to me, his fellow owners, and many Panthers players and coaches over the years.”"
Fans will remember Richardson in their own way. Some will look back fondly while others are sure to take a different approach given everything that transpired before the sale.
Either way, NFL football in the Carolinas would not exist without Richardson. This is something that cannot be disputed whatever side of the fence you’re on.