Former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson

Jeremy Brevard/USA Today Sports

Bernstein: Where Are The Jerry Richardson Apologists Now?

Results of the independent report proved the Sports Illustrated story true.

Dan Bernstein
June 28, 2018 - 2:48 pm
Categories: 

By Dan Bernstein--

(670 The Score) Jowly sleazebag Jerry Richardson became $2.2 billion richer when he was forced to sell his Carolina Panthers due to his pattern of abusive and racist behavior, but the symbolic value of him now being out $2.75 million carries more weight than the dollars themselves.

Results of the independent report commissioned by the NFL are now public, with former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White concluding that essentially, everything reported by Sports Illustrated is what indeed happened, and there was even more she learned.

She said the investigation "did substantiate the claims that have been made and identified no information that would either discredit the claims made or that would undermine the veracity of the employees who have made those claims."

So that covers all of it -- the groping, the creepy notes and clumsy propositions, the use of a racial slur and other examples of his long-enabled misconduct that weren't reported specifically. Most everybody around him understood this at the time, but some still decided to make public statements to support him.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters that he was sad that Richardson had to sell, insisting that "Jerry is one of the really, really, really outstanding men of football that I have ever met, and I really admire him." He described how hard Richardson worked to make money in the sport and concluded with, "He's a great story."

Great.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera, meanwhile, went so far as to literally lead a cheer for his embattled boss, instructing his players to do so in the postgame locker room after clinching a spot in the NFC playoffs. They even posted a video of it, they were so lacking in embarrassment or awareness.

"Just remember guys, this is about team," he said in it. "Everything we do is about team. The most important thing is about team, OK? All right, do me a favor, 'Mr. Richardson' on three...1-2-3... ."

And that group of mostly black players was commanded by their coach to salute a man who used a racist slur toward an African-American scout. But it's about team.

The employees harassed and fondled by Richardson were part of the team. That scout was part of the team, as were the countless other women over all these years who chose to stay silent despite being on the other end of Richardson's advances.

It was all true from the start, just as the rest of the sane world knew it was when we saw and heard the initial reactions to the news.

Some outside that group should be asked if they still feel today as they did then.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in middays. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.​​​