Remember when, back in December, we told you that Sean “Diddy” Combs was interested in buying the Carolina Panthers, with Stephen Curry saying that he wanted in? Well, it could actually happen, as the high-profile pair may get stakes in a prospective ownership group looking to purchase the NFL team.
That group is being led by Michael Rubin, an e-commerce billionaire who filed formal notices Monday to the NFL and to the bank handling the sale of the Panthers on behalf of current owner and team founder Jerry Richardson. Rubin is reportedly looking to strengthen his bid by creating a diverse group of partners, including Diddy and Curry.
In December, when news first broke that Richardson was putting the Panthers on the market, Diddy tweeted that he “would like to buy” the team. The rapper/entrepreneur further stated that among his first acts as owner would be to sign free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“There are no majority African American NFL owners,” Diddy said at the time. “Let’s make history.”
“I jumped out there to make sure that they [in the NFL] understood that they have to consider some black ownership right now with 80 percent, 70 percent of the league being African American,” he said in January. “It’s just time.”
Around that time, Curry was describing the possibility of getting a piece of the Panthers as “a pretty interesting opportunity.” The Warriors star, who grew up in North Carolina and is a huge fan of the team, added, “I’ve had conversations with plenty of people about the right way to go about it and kind of the different approaches I could personally take.
“Obviously, I have a day job but I’ve got people that are plugged in and trying to see how to make that happen. I’ve had nothing really to say about it besides that I’m very interested and very willing to do what it takes to make that happen.”
On Tuesday, ESPN described Diddy and Curry as “potential minority owners,” while the Charlotte Observer cited two sources who made it sound more likely that Diddy was already on board. The newspaper also reported that Rubin had brought in as a partner Joseph Tsai, the billionaire co-founder of Alibaba Group who has a 49 percent stake in the Brooklyn Nets.
Rubin, whose holdings include the online sports-merchandise company Fanatics, is a minority owner of both the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils. According to the Observer, others interested in buying the Panthers include Pittsburgh Steelers minority owner David Tepper and South Carolina businessman Ben Navarro, and the winning bid could be selected as soon as the end of this month or in early April.
Read more from The Post: