To the shock of many, Jerry Richardson decided to put the Carolina Panthers franchise up for sale at the end of the 2017 season. This all comes on the heels of allegations of him sexually harassing female employees and directing a racial slur at an African American employee. While some are still trying to wrap their heads around this situation, some are getting their checkbooks ready to purchase the Charlotte-based franchise.
One of the first people to do so is entrepreneur and rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs. Diddy released a video shortly after the news broke of the Panthers going up for sale announcing that he wants to buy the franchise and his plans as the next owner. Diddy’s announcement was met with plenty of praise, criticism, and of course, jokes that he will rename the stadium to “Ciroc Stadium” and have the uniforms made by Sean John. But there’s also excitement about the possibility of having the first black owner in the NFL.
In a league where over half of its players are African American, somehow there are no African American owners in the mix. As a matter of fact, there has never been an African American majority owner in the mix throughout the history of the NFL. So in the case of a league where most of the talent is African American, it’s about time we see an African American owner. It would be great to see someone like Diddy own an NFL team, and it would be even better if Colin Kaepernick was apart of Diddy’s ownership group. To own a franchise after the other NFL owners wouldn’t sign you to their rosters would be the perfect revenge for Kaepernick.
While it would be exciting to see Diddy own a team, many are skeptical of his ability to manage an NFL franchise, let alone purchase one. But even if the idea of Diddy owning an NFL franchise might be far-fetched or even completely unrealistic there are still some other African Americans that can be in line to become the first black majority owner in the NFL:
- Oprah: With a net worth of 2.8 billion, Oprah Winfrey could definitely be in line to be the first African American majority owner in the NFL, and the first African American woman at that. Running the highly successful OWN Network, Oprah’s business background speaks for itself, and her net worth is over the Panthers’ estimated 2.3 billion net worth, so she could definitely be someone who can possibly purchase the franchise.
- Michael Jordan: He already owns one Charlotte franchise, why not another?
- Robert F. Smith: Investor and Chairman of Vista Equity Partners, Smith could invest in the Carolina Panthers franchise.
- Robert L. Johnson
Even if the people I pointed out are somehow unrealistic picks to purchase the franchise, the point is there are many African Americans that can step up and make history. In a league that makes money off the talent of mostly African American athletes, there is no reason for there not being at least one black owner in the mix. This opportunity has been a long time coming, and hopefully, we won’t have to wait any longer.