NFL fines Panthers owner $300,000 for throwing drink


David Tepper apologized, acknowledging his regrettable behavior during the game.

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper watches before their game against the Washington Redskins at Bank of America Stadium on December 1, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. — AFP

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper faced a hefty $300,000 fine from the NFL for throwing a drink at opposing fans during a game against the Jaguars in Jacksonville.

The league condemned his actions as “unacceptable conduct” following the Panthers’ devastating 26-0 loss, marking their slide to a dismal 2-14 season.

Tepper apologized Tuesday, acknowledging his regrettable behavior during the game. “I am deeply passionate about this team and I regret my behavior on Sunday,” he said, expressing remorse for his actions. In admitting his mistake, Tepper acknowledged that he should have allowed NFL stadium security to handle any problems that arose, emphasizing his respect for the league’s code of conduct and his willingness to accept the discipline imposed.

The incident occurred just after Carolina quarterback Bryce Young faced an interception in the final moments of the game, sealing their loss and securing the league’s worst record for the season. This outcome normally would have earned the Panthers the top pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. However, this pick had been traded the previous year to acquire Young as Carolina’s first pick.

Despite Tepper’s acquisition of the Panthers in 2018 for more than $2 billion, the team has endured a challenging six-year stretch, experiencing six consecutive losing seasons and posting a disappointing 31-67 record under his ownership.

Additionally, this recent loss marked the Panthers’ first shutout in 342 games since 2002, underscoring the severity of their drop in performance. Notably, David Tepper, a 66-year-old billionaire hedge fund owner, also owns Charlotte FC in Major League Soccer, expanding his sporting interests beyond the realm of American soccer.

Tepper’s actions during the Jaguars game sparked controversy and disciplinary action by the NFL, casting a shadow over the Panthers’ already challenging season. The team and its owner now face increased scrutiny and pressure as they navigate the fallout of this incident within the league and among fans.

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