NFL had their chance to rein in David Tepper, they enabled his behavior instead

It was a token sanction, to nobody's surprise...

David Tepper
David Tepper / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL had a chance to rein in Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper. Instead, they opted to enable his erratic and petulant behavior.

The football world waited with bated breath to see what the NFL would do with Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper following his latest embarrassing act. This was their big chance to rein in the man-child. Unsurprisingly, they chose to do the absolute minimum.

After radio silence for almost two days, the league announced Tepper had been fined $300,000 for throwing his drink at fans during Carolina's shutout loss at the Jacksonville Jaguars. The billionaire probably had that sort of spare change lying around considering his net worth currently stands at $20.6 billion according to Forbes.

David Tepper's arrogance knows no bounds

Tepper's brief statement in the decision's immediate aftermath was tinged with the arrogance everyone expected. He never said sorry. He implied others were to blame for his actions. He highlighted his passion for the team he's ruined as the primary factor behind such a knee-jerk reaction venomized by contempt.

"I am deeply passionate about this team and regret my behavior on Sunday. I should have let NFL stadium security handle any issues that arose. I respect the NFL’s code of conduct and accept the League’s discipline for my behavior."

David Tepper's statement
David Tepper
David Tepper / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The statement doesn't appear anywhere associated with the Panthers. Not on their website. Not on the team's social media accounts. Nowhere.

Again, not a big surprise from an egotistical owner running the franchise akin to a dictatorship. Carolina tried to bury bad news by announcing the signing of a kicker a few minutes later. This is a classic PR move designed to avert eyes from the prominent story at hand.

This blurred the lines between what is acceptable and not as an owner. Men like Tepper get away with more than most. Money and status dictate that, as sad as it sounds. That's the way the world works. Especially in the NFL where commissioner Roger Goodell seems more scared of upsetting those who keep him in generational wealth than doing what's right.

Dan Snyder relinquished power by selling the Washington Commanders, allowing Goodell to sanction something meaningful in his direction. He still made almost $6 billion after his mammoth fine, but disassociating himself from the league allowed the commissioner to do what he wanted without reprisal.

Do you think Tepper would stand idly by while Goodell flexed his muscle? This is the man who forked out millions just to knock down the mansion of an old boss who fired him (allegedly).

A slap on the wrist was supposed to keep everyone happy. Instead, it left many wondering what Carolina's incompetent owner could get away with moving forward - because we've seen on countless occasions how incapable he is of changing.

The Panthers are a rotting corpse under Tepper's ownership. Everyone can see it but the owner himself. It's also unlikely to go unnoticed by prospective head coaching candidates during the next cycle - his third since buying the Panthers from Jerry Richardson and second in as many years.

All anybody wanted from Tepper was a bit of humility. Admit your actions were rash and uncalled for. Apologize. Be a man.

Instead, we got more deflection. No contrition whatsoever. Even when the evidence is staring at him and every single person who saw the viral video squarely in the face.

And somehow, Panthers fans are the only ones seemingly suffering.