Billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper held his introductory news conference as the owner of the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday at Bank of America Stadium.
"Listen, it's a new day," he said, throwing in a reference to winning Super Bowls right away.
He then quickly opened it up for questions. Here are his key responses:
On Jerry Richardson's tenure and the circumstances that led to his departure:
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Herald
▪ Tepper said even he will be accountable in “new place” (the organization).
▪ Tepper: “There aren’t going to be nondisclosure agreements in this new place” under him. “That was then, this is now.”
▪ "If I do something incredibly stupid, they should be talking about me."
▪ "I'd like to have an open environment ... where everybody feels safe like a family."
▪ Tepper said there’s going to be “no impediment” in employees feeling comfortable in taking concerns up the ladder on business side of the organization.
On the stadium and the potential of a new practice facility:
▪ Said Panthers are "falling behind a little bit" in terms of facilities.
▪ What would become of the current practice facility land if the Panthers build a new facility elsewhere? "If we do move the practice field from right beside the stadium, you do open up land for development here," he said.
▪ Tepper wants to see more events, including "the right kinds of concerts" and high school state championship football games, played at Bank of America Stadium.
On the football operation:
▪ Tepper said football side is in “pretty good” shape. “I’m not looking to do too much there.” He praised head coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Norv Turner.
▪ Tepper talked about what a stellar locker room it is, how involved guys are in the community. He cited Spider-Man (telling us he’s citing Spider-Man) “with great power comes great responsibility.”
On impending hires: He said he’s zeroing in a couple of candidates for team president, and has two names in mind to fill current front office vacancies (replacing Tina Becker and Danny Morrison).
On his new job as Panthers owner: After not going to an NFL game into his 20s, "The whole idea is kind of crazy to me."
On players expressing their opinions: Tepper said he’s committed to social justice and recites the Pledge of Allegiance, repeating “with liberty and justice for all” a couple times for impact. “That’s about as patriotic as it gets."
Tepper on biggest issue facing NFL going forward: "Obviously CTE is a challenge."
On the statue of Richardson outside the stadium's North Gate: "I'm contractually obligated to leave that statue where it is."