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Carolina Panthers COO Jerry Richardson Steps Aside From Team Operations Immediately

NFL is investigating accusations of his workplace sexual and racial misconduct

Jerry Richardson is stepping aside immediately from day-to-day operations of the Carolina Panthers. Tina Becker, a 20-year employee with the team, is now taking over operations, the Panthers announced Monday.

The NFL confirmed Sunday that it would be taking over an investigation into allegations made against Richardson regarding sexual and racial workplace misconduct. According to the NFL, Richardson will concentrate on selling the team at the end of this season.

“These have been some of the most difficult days of my 19 years with the Panthers, but I am lifted up by the strong resolve and the commitment our employees have shown to this organization,” Becker said is a statement.

“Our team on the field is performing at a very high level, and I believe is bound for the Super Bowl,” she continued. “My immediate focus will be to ensure the corporate side of the organization performs at the same high level, while addressing the real concerns that have been raised in recent days.”

Becker originated with the team as a cheerleader and later became the squad’s coach. She has served in a variety of other management roles during her career with the Panthers, including directing the organization’s business and administrative operations, ticketing and sponsorship and stadium operations as well as dealing with league affairs.

Sources told Sports Illustrated that multiple complaints have been triggered by female employees for sexual harassment and on one occasion, for directing a racial slur at an African American employee. In addition, they were told that on the team’s Jeans Day, Richardson would ask female employees to turn around “so he could admire their backsides” and then say, “Show me how you wiggle to get those jeans up.”