Panthers issue statement after fmr. employee calls harassment in - FOX Carolina 21

Panthers issue statement after fmr. employee calls harassment investigation a 'farce'

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Carolina Panthers owner and founder Jerry Richardson (Source: Associated Press) Carolina Panthers owner and founder Jerry Richardson (Source: Associated Press)
CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX Carolina) -

The Carolina Panthers issued a statement on Thursday after several strongly-worded letters from a former employee were published in Sports Illustrated.

The employee, who has not been identified, said she was harassed by owner Jerry Richardson who is under investigation for allegations of misconduct. She called the investigation a "farce" after saying she was told she could not be protected from penalties of violating her Non-Disclosure Agreement if she provided information to the NFL about the alleged harassment and assault.

She said she was inappropriately touched by Richardson on multiple occasions and left hand-written sexually suggestive notes.

"You need to know that not talking about or hearing my truth does not make it go away," she wrote in one of the letters.

In a letter written to "Dear Enablers," she said that many people, including the Carolina Panthers General Counsel, allowed harassment to thrive.

"Fear and intimidation abound in the environment you created," she wrote in the letter to Jerry Richardson. "So does sexual harassment."

The Panthers issued the following statement:

“Since December 2017, when we commenced an internal investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct, the organization has taken the appropriate steps to remediate any misconduct and ensure a safe and comfortable work environment. These claims are very serious and we have cooperated with the NFL’s investigation and remain fully committed to improving every facet of our organization. Because this matter continues to be under an ongoing legal review, we will not comment publicly on the specifics of the allegations, but we do feel compelled to establish what we are doing to provide a healthy work environment.

Tina Becker was named COO in December, and immediately began working towards addressing the issues. The team allocated significant resources towards reforming our workplace, restructured executive responsibilities and added a comprehensive training program on harassment and diversity and inclusion issues. We have overhauled our related policies and procedures, including improvements in our reporting to the League, all to make certain that employees who have a concern have multiple ways to report those concerns and can feel comfortable doing so. We have instituted several new employee programs, all aimed at creating an environment in which our staff can feel proud to work.”

NOTE: Sports Illustrated is owned by Meredith Corporation, FOX Carolina's parent company.

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