Panthers owner issues statement after video shows him throwing drink towards Jaguar fans

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Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Panthers owner needs to come clean about spilled drink, columnist says
The viral video of Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper throwing a drink at a Jacksonville Jaguars fan was the culmination of a dreadful season

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Anyone coming out of the Carolina Ale House in Durham has seen the now-viral video of Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper throwing a drink at a Jacksonville Jaguars fan.

The 26-0 loss to the Jaguars on Sunday dropped the Panthers to 2-14.

The National Football League (NFL) announced it was fining Tepper $300,000 for his "unacceptable conduct" in Jacksonville during Sunday's game. "All NFL personnel are expected to conduct themselves at all times in ways that respect our fans and favorably reflect on their team and the NFL," the statement read.

Tuesday evening Tepper issued this statement about the incident and the NFL's fine: "I am deeply passionate about this team and regret my behavior on Sunday. I should have let NFL stadium security handle any issues that arose. I respect the NFL's code of conduct and accept the League's discipline for my behavior."

"Just describes their whole season and something needs to be done about it," said Lawrence Miller, a patron at the Ale House.

Langston Wertz Jr. has had a front-row seat to much of the terrible season in Charlotte. He has worked at the Charlotte Observer since the late 1980s and his columns also appear in the News & Observer, our newsgathering partner.

"There seems to be some malaise amongst the fan base, a lack of hope so to speak," Wertz said.

He thinks this could be the lowest they've ever been.

Only two wins, a coaching change just 11 games into the year, and more than just displeasure from their owner. Tepper was also caught a month ago on tape using a curse word the day before firing head coach Frank Reich after starting the season 1-10.

There's also the failed deal to bring an entertainment district and new practice facility to Rock Hill, South Carolina.

The NFL is looking into the incident from Sunday and at this point, it is unclear what kind of punishment Tepper could face. It wasn't clear whether Tepper was reacting to something said to him or another loss for the NFL's worst team.

The NFL declined to comment, as did the Jaguars.

Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer was standing near Tepper when he tossed whatever remained of his drink while watching the game from a club suite.

In 2009, the NFL fined the late Titans owner Bud Adams $250,000 for making an obscene gesture at Buffalo fans while celebrating Tennessee's victory over the Bills.

Fans have been banned from stadiums for throwing drinks at players.

Since Tepper bought the Panthers less than six years ago, he has gone through coaches Ron Rivera, Matt Rhule and Reich, plus interim coaches Perry Fewell, Steve Wilks and Chris Tabor.

"I think he really owes the people an apology to get ahead of the NFL," Wertz said. "I think it would help for him to sit down and talk to us, which is something he doesn't do. Just give a real mea culpa. Take a long look in the mirror. He doesn't look like a patient man, but he's going to have to learn some patience."

The Associated Press contributed.