NFL hits Panthers owner David Tepper with massive fine after tossing drink on Jaguars fan

The NFL handed down its discipline against Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper on Tuesday after video showed him throwing a drink at a Jacksonville Jaguars fan from his suite during Sunday’s loss.

The league released a statement that said Tepper had been fined $300,000 “for his unacceptable conduct in Jacksonville during Sunday’s game.”

“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,” the statement reads.

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David Tepper looks on field

The NFL handed down its discipline against Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper after video showed him throwing a drink at a Jacksonville Jaguars fan from his suite during Sunday’s loss. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Tepper released a statement on the matter.

“I am deeply passionate about this team and regret my behavior on Sunday. 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 statement reads. 

The video of the incident went viral after the Panthers suffered their 14th loss of the season, a 26-0 shutout to the Jaguars that saw quarterback Bryce Young and others visibly frustrated in a season that the franchise wants to forget quickly following Week 18.

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However, Tepper’s frustrations boiled over with one Jaguars fan who appeared to be heckling him from the seats below his suite. The video shows Tepper enter the frame, toss his drink in the direction of the fan and storm off after throwing his cup on a table.

The fan is seen standing on his chair to seemingly say something toward the suite.

David Tepper walks

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper, a billionaire hedge fund manager, bought the Panthers from Jerry Richardson in May 2018. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Tepper, a billionaire hedge fund manager who also owns Charlotte FC in the MLS, bought the Panthers from Jerry Richardson in May 2018 for, at the time, the highest price in NFL history at $2.2 billion. Tepper was forced to sell his shares in the Pittsburgh Steelers to take control of Carolina.

Since Tepper became the owner, the Panthers have not had the best of seasons, going a combined 31-67 since 2018.

Tepper has been through two head coaches in that span, including Frank Reich, who was fired mid-season in 2023. Matt Rhule was his first big hire in 2020 after moving on from Ron Rivera midway through the 2019 campaign. But Rhule didn’t last and was fired before the 2022 season ended.

The Panthers would also have the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft after their loss to the Jaguars. However, Tepper approved a trade to send that pick to the Chicago Bears in order to move up and draft Young last April.

David Tepper looks on field

David Tepper (Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

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So, it’s been turmoil for Tepper and Carolina, where frustrations have certainly grown. But no matter the frustrations, the NFL won’t stand for Tepper acting out against fans, and now he’s literally paying for it.

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