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The founder and former owner of the Carolina Panthers Jerry Richardson died Wednesday night at age 86.

The team reported Richardson died peacefully at his Charlotte home.

In 1993 Richardson became the first former NFL player to own an NFL team. Richardson played two seasons in the NFL after the Colts made him a 13th-round selection in 1958. He played 22 games, totaling 15 receptions for 171 yards and four touchdowns.

As the owner of the Panthers, the team went 183-184-1 and 9-8 in the postseason with two Super Bowl losses.


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He owned the team until 2018 before he was accused of workplace misconduct. Following an investigation, it was found that Richardson had engaged in inappropriate behavior.

The team was sold to current owner David Tepper for $2.2 billion.

“Jerry Richardson’s contributions to professional football in the Carolinas are historic,” Panthers owners David and Nicole Tepper said in a statement. “With the arrival of the Panthers in 1995, he changed the landscape of sports in the region and gave the NFL fans here a team to call their own. He was incredibly gracious to me when I purchased the team, and for that I am thankful. Nicole and I extend our deepest condolences to Rosalind, the entire Richardson family, and their loved ones. We wish them much peace and comfort.”