When Cam Newton retires, there’s a possibility he’ll be honored at Bank of America Stadium with a statue highlighting his career. And in that case, he’ll have to share real estate with owner Jerry Richardson, who now has a statue of his own.
The statue itself is pretty ridiculous. Richardson stands, pointing a football while two aggressive-looking panthers surround him.
— Russ Owens (@RussOwensTV) July 18, 2016
The statue is an 80th birthday gift from Richardson’s Panthers partners Steve and Jerry Wordsworth. The duo told the Charlotte Observer the statue “will always represent a symbol of heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the Richardson family for everything they have done for us as partners, fans and the community.”
Richardson deserves props for founding and owning the Panthers and assembling a talented staff, but as a franchise, the organization hasn’t accomplished much. The team has been around for barely 20 years and hasn’t won a Super Bowl. Does that qualify the owner to get a statue? No. Owner’s statues are self-aggrandizing and place too much credit on a billionaires check book.
Owners statues, like the Ted Rogers statue in Toronto, don’t please fans. They’re symbolic of selfishness and a false sense of importance. Owners rarely deserve statues and Richardson isn’t one of the few who do. Richardson didn’t purchase the statue himself, but it’s an everlasting reminder of his own self-importance. When in reality, there are more deserving candidates.