Panthers owner Richardson fined $2.75 million for inappropriate workplace conduct

Outgoing Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was fined $2.75 million by the NFL after the league substantiated workplace allegations that were publicly disclosed in December, the NFL announced Thursday.

The fine will go toward supporting organizations that address race and gender-based issues and also fund league-wide workplace training, according to the NFL.

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ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Baker Mayfield chosen as the Number 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Browns at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Saquon Barkley of Penn State poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked #2 overall by the New York Giants during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Sam Darnold poses for photos with a jersey as the third overall pick by the New York Jets during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: The Cleveland Browns pick Ohio St Cornerback Denzel Ward fourth overall during the first round of the NFL Draft on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Bradley Chubb poses for photos as the fifth overall pick by the Denver Broncos during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Quenton Nelson chosen as the sixth overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Josh Allen chosen as the seventh overall pick by the Buffalo Bills poses for photos during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Roquan Smith is chosen as the eighth overall pick by the Chicago Bears poses for photos with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Mike McGlinchey on the video board after being chosen by the San Francisco 49ers with the ninth overall pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Josh Rosen poses with a jersey after being chosen by the Arizona Cardinals with the tenth overall pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Minkah Fitzpatrick poses for photos with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen by the Miami Dolphins with the eleventh overall pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Vita Vea poses for photos after being chosen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 12th overall pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Da'Ron Payne on the video board after being chosen by the Washington Redskins with the thirteenth pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Marcus Davenport takes a photo with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on stage after being chosen by the New Orleans Saints with the fourteenth pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Kolton Miller holds up a jersey and takes a photo after being chosen by the Oakland Raiders with the fifteenth pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Tremaine Edmunds holds up a jersey and takes a photo after being chosen by the Buffalo Bills with the 16th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: The Los Angeles Chargers select Florida State Defensive Back Derwin James seventeenth overall during the first round of the NFL Draft on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Jaire Alexander holds up a jersey and takes photos with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen by the Green Bay Packers with the 18th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Leighton Vander Esch of Boise State poses after being picked #19 overall by the Dallas Cowboys during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Frank Ragnow on the video board after being chosen by the Detroit Lions with the 20th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Billy Price on the video board after being chosen by the Cincinnati Bedngals with the 21st pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Rashaan Evans holds a jersey and takes photos with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen by the Tennessee Titans with the 22nd pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Isaiah Wynn on the video board after being chosen by the New England Patriots with the 23rd pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: D.J. Moore on the video board after being chosen by the Carolina Panthers with the 24th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Hayden Hurst on the video board after being chosen by the Baltimore Ravens with the 25th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays an image of Calvin Ridley of Alabama after he was picked #26 overall by the Atlanta Falcons during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays an image of Rashaad Penny of San Diego State after he was picked #27 overall by the Seattle Seahawks during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Terrell Edmunds of Virginia Tech (R) poses with Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier (L) and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (C) after being picked #28 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Taven Bryan holds up a jersey after being chosen by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 28th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays an image of Mike Hughes of UCF after he was picked #30 overall by the Minnesota Vikings during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Sony Michel on the video board after being chosen by the New England Patriots with the 31st pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Lamar Jackson holds up a jersey after being chosen by the Baltimore Ravens with the 32nd pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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Richardson was accused of harassing female employees, and Sports Illustrated reported that he had reached financial settlements with at least four employees. Richardson removed himself from day-to-day operations and made the decision to sell the team due to the situation.

David Tepper was approved as the new owner of the team last month. The sale, for an NFL-record $2.275 billion, is expected to close in July.

Former U.S. Attorney and SEC Chairman Mary Jo White led the investigation and informed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that the claims against Richardson were all substantiated.

"The findings and recommendations that I have shared with the Commissioner are the product of an extensive review, including interviews with club executives, current and former employees, analysis of documents, electronic records, and other sources of information," White said in a statement. "I particularly appreciate the work of the club employees in assessing the need for enhancing the club's workplace policies, procedures, and training and implementing appropriate changes."

The allegations against Richardson, who turns 82 next month, included one woman telling SI about the multiple sexual advances she endured.

"I didn't know what to do when you called me to your stadium suite in the middle of the week so you could take off my shoes, place my legs in your lap and rub their entire length, from toes to crotch," the woman wrote in the letter. "I didn't know what to do when you asked me to turn around so you could see how my jeans looked. I didn't know what to do when you brushed my breasts to put my seat belt around me in the front seat of your car. I didn't know what to do when you put your hands on my mouth, for me to kiss them. I didn't know what to do when you asked me uncomfortable, sexually charged questions.

"I didn't know what to do. So, I did what you told me to do."

White's investigation found that the Panthers didn't report any employee claims of harassment to the NFL office until they became public in December.

White said the Panthers recently implemented new policies, procedures and training to improve workplace conduct. She told Goodell the steps should halt any chance of recurrence.

"I appreciate Mary Jo White's careful and thorough examination of these issues, and her thoughtful recommendations to the Panthers and the entire NFL," Goodell said in a statement. "Her recommendations will help ensure that our workplaces are open, inclusive and respectful."

Tepper, the new owner, has discussed the findings with White.

Chief operating officer Tina Becker currently oversees the Panthers' day-to-day operations.

--Field Level Media 

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