NFL coach officially resigns amid inappropriate conduct investigation


It seems like the sexual harassment and workplace misconduct investigation into the Carolina Panthers organization has no end in sight.

Back in December, Sports Illustrated broke the story of owner Jerry Richardson’s alleged misdeeds toward female employees.

The story was so explosive that even before the NFL’s official investigation was complete, the only man to ever own the Panthers announced he would be selling the team.

Less than two weeks ago, one of Richardson’s alleged victims wrote an open letter, published in Sports Illustrated, to Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, who had reportedly criticized her for coming forward. The letter also specifically addressed Richardson, his “enablers,” the NFL, the Panthers’ future owner and head coach Ron Rivera.

Now comes news that Panthers defensive backs coach Curtis Fuller has resigned, following reports of his own alleged workplace misconduct.

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According to The Charlotte Observer, Fuller resigned after an internal investigation uncovered inappropriate electronic communications with several female staff members.

Fuller reportedly sent the women on the business side of the team emails and text messages.

Team spokesperson Steven Drummond issued a statement addressing Fuller’s departure.

“After approaching Coach Fuller with the findings of an investigation into complaints of inappropriate conduct, we accepted his resignation,” Drummond said. “The Panthers are deeply committed to ensuring a safe, comfortable and diverse work environment where all individuals, regardless of sex, race, color, religion, gender, or sexual identity or orientation, are treated fairly and equally.”

Do you believe Fuller should have resigned?

The 39-year-old Fuller played four seasons in the NFL, and joined the Panthers staff in 2013 as a defensive assistant.

He was promoted to defensive backs coach last season, when Steve Wilks (now the Cardinals head coach) was promoted to defensive coordinator, according to ESPN.

The accusations against Fuller seem somewhat similar to those against Richardson, who is also accused of sending at least one female employee unwanted messages.

In last month’s Sports Illustrated letter, the aforementioned unidentified woman wrote, addressing the NFL, “You say you are doing a thorough investigation of ‘workplace misconduct’ of Jerry Richardson. Through my attorney, I let you know that I am indeed a victim of such ‘misconduct’ and have information for you — but you cannot protect me. Got it. You have zero power, and that makes your investigation a farce.”

She also accused Richardson of leaving her suggestive, handwritten notes.

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Now, Richardson is essentially being forced to sell the team, and Fuller has resigned.

We can only wonder what tomorrow will bring.

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Mike is an 11-time Michigan Emmy Award winner who has spent nearly 30 years working in sports media.
Mike has spent nearly 30 years in all aspects of sports media, including on-air, 10 at ESPN and another 10 at Fox Sports Detroit. He now works as a TV agent, and lives with his family in West Bloomfield, MI.
Sudbury, Massachusetts
11-time Michigan Emmy winner
Emerson College
Books Written
The Longest Year: One Family's Journey Of Life, Death, And Love/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Lions
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