New owner David Tepper spoke with the media for the first time since the finalization of the sale of the Carolina Panthers. Here are 5 takeaways from his introductory press conference.
Jerry’s Last Stand!
One of the largest revelations in Tuesday’s presser was that the statue erected in honor of former owner Jerry Richardson won’t be going anywhere…at least anytime soon. At the end of his media availability, Tepper was asked if there are any plans to take the statue down. The new owner responded by saying he’s “contractually obligated to keep the statue as it is.”
Straight G move by the former owner.
Liberty and Justice for All
Tepper was asked how he would support players who have opinions that aren’t popular with the “masses” (an obvious reference to last year’s polarizing player protests against police brutality), to which the new owner responded that through his charity work he is a big believer in social justice and also a big believer in patriotism. He then went on to quote the end of the pledge of allegiance – emphasizing the part that states “with liberty and justice for all.” No specific answer about whether he’ll support players’ right to protest, but my guess is that he’ll be more liberal in terms of that than his predecessor.
A Stadium for the Community
Tepper wants to see more games and possibly concerts held at Bank of America Stadium.
“I don’t want to screw up the field, but I do think there should be bigger events there like the right type of concerts.”
Tepper also mentioned the possibility of hosting high school state championships.
Practice Facility Upgrades on the Way
When asked about development, Tepper mentioned that the Panthers are one of the few teams in the NFL that doesn’t have a new practice facility and stated definitively “we’re in need.” No word yet on if that facility will be in South Carolina like many have speculated, but Tepper did reiterate that he views the team as one that represents two states and will take that into consideration when making developmental decisions.
Open Door Policy
When asked about organizational changes post Richardson era, Tepper said that while he’s still evaluating things, he wants to have an open environment that’s like “one big family” where everyone feels “safe like a family.” He wants employees to feel comfortable openly talking about the football and business side of operations.
You can view David Tepper’s full press conference here.