Posted by Josh Katzowitz
Well, this is an interesting little video of Panthers owner Jerry Richardson talking to Charlie Rose on the set of his talk show Tuesday. In the short clip below, Rose asks Richardson about No. 1 pick Cam Newton and the process of vetting the quarterback.
Before I get into what Richardson’s comments say about Richardson or about his thoughts about a team owner’s relationship to his most marketable star, here’s what Richardson said:
“He was dressed perfectly. I said, ‘Do you have any tattoos.’ He said, ‘No sir, I don’t have any.’ I said, ‘Do you have any piercings?’ He said, ‘No sir.’ I said, ‘We want to keep it that way.”
Richardson continued with a story about Newton saying he, maybe, wanted to grow out his hair but that Newton’s father quickly put a stop to that.
“I said we want to keep no tattoos, no piercings, and I think you have a very nice hair cut.”
Rose then said Richardson sounded a bit like the no-nonsense Vince Lombardi.
“No,” Richardson said, “I just sound reasonable to me.”
I’m not quite sure how to take Richardson’s comments. On the face of it, he comes off … well … I’m not really sure how to put it. It feels vaguely wrong (or perhaps not so vaguely). On the YouTube clip, the description of the video describes Richardson as acting basically like a slave-owner.
I certainly don’t get that out of this clip.
But I do sense an owner who feels he has to create a marketing star out of Newton and that he realizes it’s probably easier to sell to the mainstream a guy who looks “presentable” without tattoos and piercings. I can’t imagine Richardson feels it’s his right to tell players how they should wear their hair* or whether he can hit up the tattoo parlor on his own time. I imagine, after all, there are plenty of Panthers who have tattoos and who have long hair and who have pierced body parts.
*Unless Richardson subscribes with the philosophy of George Steinbrenner.
But if Richardson wanted to come off looking like anything but a meddling owner who inserts himself into a players’ personal lives and their personal choices, he certainly doesn’t succeed here. If anything, I think, it's just kind of weird.
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