If some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment have anything to do with it, the next owner of the Carolina Panthers will be a historic one for the National Football League.
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry have all expressed interest in buying the Panthers when it becomes available for sale at the end of the season.
“I will be the best NFL owner that you can imagine,” Diddy said in a video posted to Instagram late Sunday evening. “I will immediately address the Colin Kaepernick situation and put him in the running for next year’s starting quarterback.”
Diddy also posted to Twitter a photo of him from 2003 wearing a Panthers' jersey and said, "It's time!"
Kaepernick, who has has yet to be signed to an NFL team, could make a comeback to the league, but away from the sidelines.
“I want in on the ownership group,” he tweeted back to Combs Monday morning. “Let’s make it happen!”
Curry, tweeted Diddy saying he wanted in as well. Curry is a native of North Carolina and a fan of the Panthers. Former NFL players Greg Jennings, Shawn Merriman, and Maurice Jones-Drew also tweeted their interest.
No African-American has majority ownership of an NFL team. But Diddy, Curry, and Kaepernick wouldn't be the first African-Americans to try.
In 2005, Reggie Fowler, an Arizona businessperson, would have been the first African-American to own an NFL team when he attempted to purchase the Minnesota Vikings. He eventually became a limited partner, but in 2014 lost his partnership.
Other prominent African-Americans have ownership in major franchise sports teams, including Michael Jordan, who is an owner of the Charlotte Hornets (NBA) and BET co-founder Sheila Johnson who has ownership of the Washington Wizards (NBA), Washington Mystics (WNBA), and the Washington Capitals (NHL).
The interest in the Panthers comes amid allegations that current owner and founder, Jerry Richardson, sexually harassed a female worker and used a racial slur against an African-American employee.
“I believe it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership," Richardson stated in a letter shared on the Panther’s website Sunday. “We will not begin the sale process, nor will we entertain any inquiries, until the very last game is played. While I will no longer be the team owner, I will always be the Panthers Number One fan.”
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