Sean “Diddy” Combs could soon make his wish to own the Carolina Panthers a reality. After announcing in December that he wants to make history as the NFL’s first Black principal owner, Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry immediately backed him.
And a new report says the two are included in a diverse group of potential minority owners that e-commerce billionaire Michael Rubin is putting together to buy the team, a source told ESPN.com Tuesday, March 13.
The team was put up for sale by owner Jerry Richardson last year after he faced allegations of workplace misconduct.
Rubin, owner of sports apparel retailer Fanatics, is one of three potential buyers who could take majority ownership of the team Forbes estimates is worth $2.3 billion. Hedge fund billionaire David Tepper and Charleston, S.C.-based founder and CEO of Sherman Financial Group Ben Navarro are the other two.
The league requires those seeking majority ownership to buy teams for 30 percent of asking price, so with Rubin’s Forbes-estimated net worth of $3 billion, he’d have the money to make it happen. And even with the Panthers’ current worth, sources said the team could sell for less if not enough bidders are available to boost the price.
With 25 members allowed to make up a group of minority owners, Diddy and Curry would be able to easily become minority owners in the team, although their involvement reportedly has not been finalized.
Individually, however, they don’t have enough green to become majority owners. Diddy is estimated to be worth $820 million by Forbes while he had $47.3 million in total earnings last year.
“ATTN all @NFL owners, it’s time for diversity!!” Diddy tweeted in December. “It’s time for Black ownership!! The time is now. Let’s make it happen!!”
“I want in!” Curry responded, which the mogul gladly accepted.
Official bids are expected to begin in the next two weeks and the buyer will need to earn approval from three-quarters of the NFL’s 32 owners, which sources told ESPN.com would happen at the earliest during Atlanta-based meetings in May.