Remember when so many Black folks thought business tycoon Sean “P. Diddy” Combs would be the perfect candidate to buy the Carolina Panthers? Well, apparently, the NFL isn’t quite ready to desegregate its principal owners’ box just yet.
According to reports, there’s a “strong contender” close to purchasing the Carolina Panthers franchise, and his name isn’t Diddy, nor is he African-American or of any minority descent.
Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reported that David Tepper, a billionaire hedge fund manager, is at the top of the list for potential buyers of the Panthers. Tepper, a 60-year-old White man with a net worth estimated at $11 billion, currently owns five percent of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
If the NFL does allow Tepper to buy the Panthers (three-fourths of the league’s 32 owners must approve the sale, according to Garafolo), he would have to sell his stake in the Steelers.
If the NFL approved Tepper for ownership, it would also have to explain to its Black fans why, in its 97-year history, there has still yet to be one single African-American principal owner, especially after an extremely successful Black businessman like Combs went public with his interest in purchasing a team.
Diddy used Twitter and Instagram to broadcast his desire to buy the Panthers after principal owner Jerry Richardson announced back in December 2017 that he would be selling the team in the midst of a sexual misconduct scandal. Diddy received tons of public support from wealthy, high profiled figures, including Colin Kaepernick and NBA star Steph Curry, who both said they were interested in joining Combs as a group to buy the Panthers.
“The North Carolina Panthers are up for sale. I believe it’s time to turn the franchise over to new ownership,” Diddy said on Instagram. “I need to send a message out to everybody in the beautiful state of North Carolina: 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. It’s just competition, baby! It’s just competition.
“But also, I will have the best halftime show, the best selection of music and we will win [multiple Super Bowls].”