The Carolina Panthers informed the NFL on Friday that founder and owner Jerry Richardson is under investigation for allegations of workplace misconduct, according to the Associated Press.
The team said former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles is overseeing the investigation by a Los Angeles-based law firm.
Team spokesman Steven Drummond said in a release that the Panthers and the 81-year-old Richardson take these allegations very seriously and are fully committed to a full investigation and taking appropriate steps to address and remediate any misconduct.
"The entire organization is fully 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," Drummond said in the release. "We have work to do to achieve this goal, but we are going to meet it."
Drummond told The Associated Press because the matter is under legal review, the Panthers cannot comment publicly on the specifics of the allegations.
The investigation against the team's only owner in franchise history is being led by international law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, LLP, and will be overseen by Bowles, who is a minority owner.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said in a release that he has had a strong relationship with Richardson since he joined the franchise as coach in 2012.
"I have enormous respect for the man, but will wait for the results of the investigation before making any judgment," Rivera said.
Richardson brought NFL football to the Carolinas in 1993 when he became the first former NFL player since George Halas to own a team.
The Panthers began play two years later in 1995.
Former Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme said he is one of "numerous" former Carolina players who maintains a close relationship with Richardson.
"The only thing I can say is that Mr. Richardson is a gentleman that I have the highest degree of respect for," said Delhomme.
He is only one of two owners to have owned a franchise since its inception. The other is Houston's Robert McNair.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league has no comment at this time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.