The Carolina Panthers reportedly said Friday that the resignation of defensive backs coach Curtis Fuller earlier this week was in response to workplace misconduct complaints against him.
“After approaching Coach Fuller with the findings of an investigation into complaints of inappropriate conduct, we accepted his resignation,” Panthers spokesperson Steven Drummond said, per ESPN.
“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.”
Fuller’s misconduct allegations contended he was “inappropriate” with women, according to ESPN.
Fuller had been promoted to defensive backs coach last season. He joined the Panthers in 2013.
In the wake of workplace misconduct investigation triggered by allegations against owner Jerry Richardson, the Carolina Panthers released a statement last month outlining advances they have made to address the issue.
“Since December 2017, when we commenced an internal investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct, the organization has taken the appropriate steps to remediate any misconduct and ensure a safe and comfortable work environment,” the team said in its statement. “These claims are very serious and we have cooperated with the NFL’s investigation and remain fully committed to improving every facet if organization. Because this matter continues to be under an ongoing legal review, we will not comment publicly on the specifics of the allegations, but we do feel compelled to establish what we are doing to provide a healthy work environment.
“Tina Becker was named COO in December, and immediately began working towards addressing the issues. The team allocated significant resources towards reforming our workplace, restructured executive responsibilities and added a comprehensive training program on harassment and diversity and inclusion issues. We have overhauled our related policies and procedures, including improvements in our reporting to the league, all to make certain that employees who have a concern have multiple ways to report those concerns and can feel comfortable doing so. We have instituted several new employee programs, all aimed at creating an environment in which our staff can feel proud to work.”
That statement was released on the same day Sports Illustrated published a story where an unidentified former Panthers employee allegedly harassed by Richardson spoke out and detailed several instances of misconduct she said she witnessed and personally experienced.
Richardson was the subject of a Sports Illustrated report in December claiming the Panthers settled with at least four former employees regarding workplace misconduct by Richardson. He announced in the aftermath that he would sell the franchise he founded after the 2017 season ends.
The sale of the Panthers is reportedly set to be discussed and potentially voted on by team owners at the annual spring league meeting in May.