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SBD/December 8, 2010/Franchises
NFL Panthers Owner Reaffirms Commitment In Letter To Fans
Published December 8, 2010
NFL Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson “elected to bypass the media to directly address those who support his stadium and his team” by sending a letter to every PSL owner “apologizing for the way things have turned out this season,” according to Steve Reed of the GASTON GAZETTE. The Panthers currently have the worst record in the NFL at 1-11, and Richardson in the letter wrote, “Going forward, our plan of attack is to build through the draft while retaining our core players. We have one of the youngest teams in the League, and a number of those younger players have shown genuine promise in this otherwise disappointing season. We won’t give up on them. We also have a solid nucleus of veterans that we will seek to keep intact. I want all of you to know that we plan to look at every aspect of our organization. What we do in the future will entirely be geared toward putting the best possible team on the field. I am committed to fielding a winning team, and I’m willing to invest the resources necessary to make it happen” (GASTON GAZETTE, 12/8). Richardson in the letter also “explains his reluctance to give interviews through the media, saying he didn’t want to be a distraction to the team during the season.” In Charlotte, Darin Gantt notes Richardson “hasn’t taken questions from reporters since January 2009.” Since then, he has “fired his sons and let coach John Fox walk into a lame duck season without an offer of a contract extension.” The letter is “similar in tone to the conversations he’s been having with individual customers who sent letters of complaint” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/8).
GOOD FIRST STEP: In Charlotte, Scott Fowler wrote, “Although this certainly isn’t a substitute for actually answering questions about the team, it’s a good first step for Richardson. I thought the letter was too vague in parts but quite well done in others” (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 12/7).