Rap mogul Diddy expressed interest in buying Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton is okay with the idea.
Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, who has a 48 percent stake in the team, plans to put the team up for sale at the season’s end. The announcement came earlier this week following allegations against Richardson for sexual and racial miscduct towards Panthers employees. With the team up for grabs after this season Diddy, who announced earlier this year he’d like to start his own professional football league, took interest in owning Panthers and made it public.
“I need to send a message out to everybody in the beautiful state of Carolina,” Diddy said on Instagram. “I will be the best NFL owner that you can imagine. I will immediately address the Colin Kaepernick situation and put him in the running for next year’s starting quarterback. Its just competition baby, its just competition.
“Also, I will have the best halftime show, the best selection of music and we will win Super Bowl after Super Bowl.”
After Wednesday’s press conference Newton was asked about Diddy’s comments.
“Its amusing,” Newton said of Diddy’s interests in the Panthers. “He’s a person that has a lot of influence.”
When it comes to Diddy’s plan to bring in competition Newton would be okay with it.
“I’m cool with it. If whatever happens, happens. They say either two things happen in competition: either you’re better or you’re worse, so I’m all for it,” Newton said. “But as far as a person that I’ve always looked up to Puff Daddy, Diddy, whatever you want to call him, for that to be even mentioned that’s cool in its self.”
As far as Richardson’s plan to put the team up for sale its a bit premature, Newton said.
“I take sexual assault extremely serious but allegations that’s a different thing,” Newton said.
For Newton, he’s relating to the situation from personal experience. Newton faced an allegation that his father, Cecil, auctioned him off to play for a Division I college that was the highest bidder in 2010 when he transferred and played for Auburn. Newton was almost suspended in the midst of the season after the claim, a claim that was ruled false after the conclusion of the investigation. While Newton won Heisman and led the Tigers to their first national title in 53 years since the claims were made Newton was treated as if he was guilty throughout the season until the investigation ruled otherwise.
“In this day and time its almost you’re proven guilty before you’re proven innocent versus the judicial system where you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty,” Newton said. “What I’ve heard were allegations.”
Head coach Ron Rivera, like Newton, won’t be quick to judge Richardson until the investigation runs its course. An investigation they both welcome as they take sexual assault and racial misconduct seriously.
“He has truly helped me and given me every opportunity. He was the first owner in my nine interviews to give me that chance. That’s all I can speak of,” Rivera said of Richardson during Monday’s press conference. “I know the allegations are serious. I know the league is doing an investigation, and everybody should be heard and respected. At the end of the day, who am I to judge? We need to have all the answers before we can do any of that. I just think that as we go forward as a football team, I think it’s important to remember that we’re still here obviously to play football.”
By Gino Terrell