Bob McNair defended Jerry Richardson at the NFL Owners Meetings.
Houston Texans owner Bob McNair defended Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson amid the league's investigation into Richardson and workplace misconduct.
Jarrett Bell of USA Today reports that McNair said, "“Some of the comments could have been made jokingly. I’m sure he didn’t mean to offend anybody.”
McNair also said that he hopes Richardson "turns out that he's innocent."
"I understand what he's saying,'' McNair said, according to David Newton of ESPN. "Sometimes people choose to try to make something go away rather than fighting it. I think his regret is he didn't fight some of these things.
In December, an investigative report by Sports Illustrated found that Richardson allegedly engaged in sexual harassment and inappropriate physical contact with women employed by the Panthers. The allegations against Richardson also included a racial slur against a former team scout. Richardson announced his intention to sell the Panthers after the season.
Richardson is not in attendance at the owner's meetings. He has not spoken with reporters regarding the allegations but has chatted with other league owners, according to McNair.
ESPN reports that Richardson will choose a winning bidder for the team in early April. Owners will vote to approve the selected winner at the May meetings in Atlanta.