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UPDATED: Carolina Panthers remove statue of Jerry Richardson from front of Bank of America Stadium

The Panthers have removed the Jerry Richardson statue and have no plans to return it, according to reports.

Update 2: A report from Scott Fowler suggests the statue will not return.

Update 1: The team has made an official statement on the matter.

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper is removing the statue of Jerry Richardson that stands in front of Bank of America Stadium, according to a shocking report from Joe Bruno of WSOC Channel 9.

David Tepper has said in the past that he is contractually obligated to keep the statue in front of the stadium as part of his deal with Richardson to purchase the team. According to a series of tweets from Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer, the team is citing public safety as their reason for taking it down.

Richardson sold the Panthers in disgrace after multiple allegations of racial and sexual discrimination and harassment came to light. This would make a statue honoring him an obvious target for people protesting in favor of racial equality. Considering its size there’s a chance someone could get hurt if people did try to knock the statue down, so it makes sense for the team to be proactive in ensuring public safety.