The NFL fined Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper $300,000 on Tuesday in retaliation for Tepper throwing a drink at fans during the Panthers' 26-0 loss to the Jaguars in Jacksonville on Tuesday.
After the Panthers went two days without commenting on the incident, the team released a three-sentence statement from Tepper on Tuesday evening that contained no apology.
“I am deeply passionate about this team and regret my behavior on Sunday,” Tepper said in the statement. “I should have let NFL stadium security handle any issues. I respect the NFL's code of conduct and accept the league's discipline for my conduct.
The fine won't take away much of Tepper's fortune, as it represents less than one percent of his $20.6 billion net worth.
In the past, fans have received life bans for throwing drinks at players. Some observers believed the league might suspend Tepper for at least one game for what the NFL described as “unacceptable conduct.” But that was not the case.
“All NFL employees are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner that respects our fans and reflects favorably on their team and the NFL,” the league said in a statement.
Tepper released a video of a Jaguars fan throwing the contents of a trophy from the visiting owner's suite into the stands at Everbank Stadium on Sunday. Video shows Tepper standing with general manager Scott Fitter as the incident unfolded, as rookie quarterback Bryce Young threw an interception, allowing the Jaguars to run the final three minutes off the clock.
It was the Panthers' first shutout since 2002. They finished with just 124 net yards and seven first downs, both of which rank as the worst single-game totals in franchise history.
It's been a rough year for Tepper, who fired head coach Frank Reich in November after 11 games, the second shortest tenure in NFL history for a head coach who has coached at least one regular season game.
With another loss Sunday and against Tampa Bay, the Panthers (2-14) would finish with the NFL's worst record since the league moved to a 17-game schedule in 2021. In most years, the Panthers are at least no. Contains 1 draft. The pick was the silver lining, but they traded that pick to the Chicago Bears as part of a package to move up to Young with the first overall pick of the year.
(Photo: Bob Donan/USA Today)