Either Sean “Diddy” Combs was the most underreported bidder of the Carolina Panthers new ownership process, or he’s simply not telling the truth.
In a recent interview with BigBoyTV, the rap mogul claimed he was one of the final bidders for the Panthers, which has since been bought for $2.275 billion in cash by soon-to-be new official owner David Tepper. The hedge fund manager had his purchase of the team officially approved by the NFL in late May during the team’s annual spring league meetings in Atlanta. He will officially become the owner in July when the sale of the team officially closes.
Combs, meanwhile, was nowhere to be seen in the headlines or rumor mill as the sale of the team developed down the stretch. All reports indicated Tepper’s main competition was South Carolina businessman Ben Navarro, who also offered around the same final price Tepper did. But Tepper’s familiarity with the league and overflow of cash got him the winning bid. Steel CEO Alan Kestenbaum was also named as a primary bidder late in the process.
Still, Combs is sticking to the story he was right there. But now that the NFL has since passed its new national anthem rule, Combs doesn’t want to try and be involved with the purchase of a team again, he says.
Players on the sideline will now be required to stand during the playing of “The Star Spangled Banner” before games. Players who prefer not to stand for the anthem will be allowed to stay in the locker room. This change is being described as a compromise. It comes after the NFL saw a wave of political demonstrations during the 2017 NFL season, causing much controversy. Teams that do not abide by this new policy will face fines from the league.
“I was one of the two last bids for the Panthers,” Diddy said, via the New York Post. “Man, I really wanted to go in there and be a part of the NFL and try to be a positive change. This last move, though, I don’t even want to own an NFL team no more.
“I don’t want to be associated with oppressing black men. I don’t want to be associated with telling grown-ass men what they can do and cannot do.”
Combs was rumored to be involved with Michael Rubin’s ownership group, which would seem to be the most ideal scenario he was referring to. Rubin, who co-owns the 76ers, was reportedly backed by Combs and Joseph Tsai, a fellow billionaire businessman.
No matter what Combs says or has said about his interest in buying the Panthers, it was never really feasible he’d be able to really deliver the money up front that it took to make the purchase. Combs’ net worth, according to Forbes, is $900 million. Seeing as the Panthers were sold for more than $2.2 billion, and NFL owners must own at least 30 percent of the franchise outright, it would’ve taken the majority of Combs’ entire fortune to make such a purchase.