Sports has an owner problem

The Problem with Billionaire Owners in Professional Sports

In recent years, there has been a growing issue with the behavior of professional sports team owners. From the likes of David Tepper, owner of the Carolina Panthers, to other entitled billionaires, their actions have been nothing short of abhorrent. It’s a problem that needs to be addressed and eradicated from the game.

The incident involving David Tepper is a prime example of the behavior that has become all too common among these billionaire owners. During the Panthers’ shutout loss in Jacksonville, Tepper was caught on camera tossing the backwash of his cocktail onto a crowd of fans dressed as Jaguar supporters. It was a disrespectful act that showed a complete lack of regard for the fans and the game itself.

Unfortunately, Tepper is not alone in his behavior. Many other owners in professional sports have also been guilty of acting like giant babies and destructive teenagers. Michael Bidwell, Daniel Snyder, Robert Kraft, Jerry Jones, Stan Kroenke, Woody Johnson, and the list goes on. They may go by different names, but they are all cut from the same cloth.

For Tepper, this incident only solidifies what fans have already assumed about him. He is another billionaire who is more concerned with fame and notoriety than with the success of his team. It seems that owning an NFL franchise is just another midlife crisis toy for him, rather than a serious commitment to the sport.

The Panthers, under Tepper’s ownership, have been a mess. Despite spending an exorbitant amount of money on failed coaches, the team is currently the worst in football. They traded up to the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to select Bryce Young, a move that has backfired spectacularly. The organization is directionless, and Young was set up to fail from the start.

Tepper’s behavior is reminiscent of the character Tom Cruise played in the movie “Tropic Thunder” – a real-life version, but far less funny and twice as much of an a-hole. It’s disheartening to see someone with so much power and influence act in such a disrespectful and destructive manner.

The lack of response from both the league and the Panthers organization is also concerning. It sends a clear message to potential future employees that they may be treated poorly and disrespected by their owner. Unless there is a significant out-of-court settlement, there will likely be no justice for the Jaguar fans who were targeted by Tepper’s drink-throwing incident.

This problem goes beyond just one owner. It is a systemic issue within professional sports. The power and wealth that these billionaire owners possess often shield them from facing any real consequences for their actions. Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, works for Tepper, and it’s unlikely that any punishment handed down will be meaningful or impactful.

As fans, we can only hope that one day there will be a resolution to this problem. Seeing a billionaire owner forced to sell their team due to their behavior would be a small victory for sports fandom. However, with the number of wealthy individuals willing to overpay for sports franchises, it’s hard to say if that will ever happen.

The rise of these billionaire owners in professional sports is a reflection of a larger issue in our society. It’s disheartening to see people who care more about their own egos and personal gain than the success and well-being of the teams and organizations they oversee. As fans, we must continue to demand better from these owners and hold them accountable for their actions.

In the case of David Tepper, he will now be remembered not just as a rich guy, but as the owner who threw a drink at fans. It’s a reputation that he has earned and one that will forever be associated with his name.

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