Jerry Richardson bids goodbye to the Carolina Panthers as sale is finalized on Monday

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 26: Carolina Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson prior to the National Football League game between the New York Jets and the Carolina Panthers on November 26, 2017, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jerry Richardson has bid the Carolina Panthers goodbye after the sale of the team was finalized on Monday.

Richardson released his goodbye statement to the Panthers’ Twitter account, saying he will always have “the highest respect for the men who wear the Panthers jersey.”

“We are grateful to the Carolina community for the love and support you have shown your Panthers. Your enthusiasm for football and devotion to the team has been a source of strength for us and for everyone who calls the Carolinas home,” the statement read, in part.

Richardson was recently fined $2.75 million by the NFL after an investigation into workplace misconduct.

The Panthers initiated an investigation into allegations against Richardson on Dec. 15. Richardson stepped aside from the team’s day-to-day operations shortly after that.

Sports Illustrated reported on in December that at least four former Panthers employees have received “significant” monetary settlements due to inappropriate workplace comments and conduct by Richardson.

The conduct reportedly included “sexually suggestive language and behavior” and at least on one occasion, a racial slur.

David Tepper bought the team in May for a reported $2.2 billion. Tepper founded Appaloosa Management, a global hedge fund based in Miami Beach, Florida.

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