Sean "Diddy" Combs and two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry are among a group preparing to bid for the Carolina Panthers, according to ESPN. The group is led by tech billionaire Michael Rubin, who is the owner of athletic merchandise company.
Jerry Richardson announced near the end of last year that he would sell the franchise following the season after a Sports Illustrated investigation discovered that Richardson and the Panthers organization made multiple payouts for workplace misconduct, including sexual harassment and the use of a racial slur toward a scout. Richardson, 81, bought the Panthers when they were started as an expansion franchise in 1995. He has been the team's only owner.
Shortly after Richardson conveyed his intention to sell, both Combs and Curry, a North Carolina native, expressed interest in joining a group to buy the team. "I would like to buy the Panthers," Diddy tweeted. "Spread the word." Curry tweeted that he wanted in, and said that he'd talked to his representatives about making it happen.
Neither man has the requisite net worth to serve as a majority owner—Forbes pegs the Panthers' worth at $2.3 billion and Combs' net worth at roughly $820 million. Curry, on the other hand, made $47.3 million in 2017, per Forbes.
Rubin, whose net worth is estimated at $2.7 billion, already owns minority shares of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL's New Jersey Devils.
More bids for the franchise are expected to surface in the coming weeks. Any bid must be approved by two-thirds of the league's 32 owners, and the soonest that might happen is in May, per ESPN.
The Panthers finished 11-5 and reached the playoffs as the NFC's first Wild Card team. Carolina was beaten 31-26 in the Wild Card Round by the Saints.