The Pioneer

Golden State Warriors star interested in ownership of Carolina Panthers

Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports

Terrence Allen,
Contributor

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Stephen Curry signed a brand new five-year, $201 million contract this summer. How would you spend that kind of money? Curry wants to spend that money in a unique way that is close to his heart. He wants to become owner of the Carolina Panthers.

Panthers’ owner, Jerry Richardson, announced last month that he will sell the team amid workplace misconduct allegations. Richardson has owned the Panthers since the beginning of its existence in 1993.

Curry grew up in Charlotte, N.C. where the Panthers are located. The Panthers are Curry’s childhood football team. In 2016, he banged the team’s “Keep Pounding” drum before their Super Bowl appearance. Curry wants everyone to know that this is not just him talking a good game but he is serious about it.

“I’m serious, I’m really serious about that. I think it’s such a unique opportunity to impact my hometown,” Curry told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “Just an unprecedented, unique situation, and knowing kind of what the storylines are around the NFL right now maybe having a hand in that. So we’ll see how that plays out and whoever wants to come watch Cam and everybody, hopefully win Super Bowls.”

If Curry becomes a NFL team owner that would be a monumental accomplishment for him as well as the NFL. The NFL has always had a lack of diversity in ownership, but it has become a larger issue following Colin Kaepernick’s protest.

This was evident when Texans’ owner, Robert McNair, made a comment stating, “We can’t let the inmates run the prison.”

This comment was met with backlash. Some of his own players walked out of team facilities and skipped team meetings.

This lack of diversity causes a division between ownership and the players when athletes are fighting for social causes such as the ones Kaepernick kneeled for. The owners do not come from impoverished situations nor can they fully understand the social issues that concern a person of color. About 70 percent of the NFL is African-American, but there are no African American owners, according to the NFL.  

A more diverse ownership will allow the NFL to truly make a difference in the communities their teams are located in and other parts of the world as well. It will also show other people of color that with hard work and knowledge of business, it is possible to do things such as owning a NFL team.

Curry’s path to ownership would be similar to Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s path to ownership. Johnson was apart of a group that purchased the Dodgers for $2.15 billion after they declared for bankruptcy. There are some other individuals of color that have expressed interest in buying the franchise.

Sean “Diddy” Combs and Kaepernick also conveyed interest in purchasing the Panthers. Combs sent a series of tweets and made a Twitter video on Dec. 17 showing how interested he was in the franchise.

“I would like to buy the Panthers. Spread the word. Retweet. There are no majority African-American NFL owners. Let’s make history,” Combs said on Twitter the same day as the video. Kaepernick showed his interest by responding to Combs on Twitter, “I want in on the ownership group! Let’s make it happen!” Curry also responded saying, “I want in!”

Kevin Durant stated in a joint interview with Curry with ESPN’s Nichols that he wants in as well. There could be some sort of joint venture between the four in order to make this move a reality.

Curry wouldn’t be the first player to have ownership of a team while being an active player. Lebron James invested in highly popular English soccer team, Liverpool FC, in 2011. Kevin Garnett also did something similar in investing in Italy’s soccer team, AS Roma.

With Michael Jordan being majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Johnson having partial ownership of the Dodgers, James being a partial owner of Liverpool FC and Garnett being a partial owner of AS Roma, I hope to see the trend of people of color obtaining ownership of major sports teams continue. The NFL needs diversity in the form of ownership of color and Curry might be the catalyst to make that a reality.

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Golden State Warriors star interested in ownership of Carolina Panthers