The NFL has fined Carolina Panthers team owner David Tepper $300,000 "for his unacceptable conduct" after he was seen on video Sunday throwing a drink in the direction of Jaguars fans from his luxury box.
The NFL released a statement to media Tuesday announcing the penalty.
“The National Football League today fined Carolina Panthers’ chairman David Tepper $300,000 for his unacceptable conduct in Jacksonville during Sunday’s game," the statement reads. "All NFL personnel are expected to conduct themselves at all times in ways that respect our fans and favorably reflect on their team and the NFL.”
Tepper released a corresponding statement through the Panthers expressing "regret" about his behavior. He did not apologize.
"I am deeply passionate about this team and regret my behavior on Sunday," the statement reads. "I should have let NFL stadium security handle any issues that arose. I respect the NFL’s code of conduct and accept the League’s discipline for my behavior."
The incident took place during Sunday's game between the Panthers and Jaguars at Jacksonville's EverBank Stadium, and a person in a box adjacent to Tepper's recorded it on video. In it, a frustrated Tepper is seen tossing the contents of his cup out the window of his box, then slamming the cup down on a bar before walking out of view of the camera.
A fan in Jaguars gear outside the box then stands up from his seat and climbs up to look into the window. The video cuts off there.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 31, 2023
The incident took place as the Jaguars beat the Panthers 26-0 to drop them to an NFL-worst 2-14. Jaguars security reportedly inquired about the video. What, if anything, became of that inquiry isn't clear.
Tepper didn't address the incident postgame, and the Panthers declined comment through a spokesperson. The NFL acknowledged awareness of the video in a statement but declined to comment further at the time.
Tuesday's corresponding statements from Tepper and the NFL were the first from either party since Sunday.
NFL personal conduct policy holds owners to higher standard
The league's personal conduct policy prohibits league members including owners from "'conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in' the NFL." From the opening paragraph of the personal conduct policy:
"Everyone who is part of the league must refrain from 'conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in' the NFL. This includes owners, coaches, players, other team employees, game officials, and employees of the league office, NFL Films, NFL Network, or any other NFL business."
The policy goes on to state that owners are held to a higher standard.
"Ownership and club or league management have traditionally been held to a higher standard and will be subject to more significant discipline when violations of the Personal Conduct Policy occur."
Tepper, 66, bought the Panthers in 2018. He purchased the team from founding owner Jerry Richardson, who sold the Panthers after a report revealed allegations of sexual and racial harassment during his tenure as team owner.
The Panthers have failed to make the postseason or produce a winning record in the five-plus seasons since Tepper took over. And they won't have the No. 1 pick in the draft in April, as they traded their first-round pick last season to the Chicago Bears to acquire the pick to select quarterback Bryce Young.