Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson took to the field Sunday evening to bang the massive “Keep Pounding” drum ahead of kickoff at Bank of America Stadium.
The Panthers’ entertainment department had kept the name of the drummer under wraps before the game, building up suspense among fans.
Richardson, 79, was the first former NFL player to become an owner when the NFL voted to award the Carolinas the league’s 29th franchise in late 1993, according to the Panthers.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) January 24, 2016
This isn’t the first time Richardson’s joined in on popular Panthers trends. In December, he did Cam Newton’s signature celebratory dance – the dab – after the team’s 41-38 victory against the New Orleans Saints.
The Panthers started the “Keep Pounding” drum tradition in 2012. Past drummers have included Olympic gold medalists, Boston Marathon bombing survivors, Davidson College and NBA standout Steph Curry and veteran Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis.
Who is Jerry Richardson?
J. Richardson is a native Carolinian whose dream was to bring NFL football and the world championship he knew as a player in the league to his home. With the Panthers in their third decade, Richardson has firmly established the NFL into the Carolina landscape while dedicating his efforts to making the rest of his vision a reality. He is the only person to be inducted into both the North and South Carolina Business and Athletic Halls of Fame.
On October 26, 1993, Richardson became the first former NFL player since George Halas to become an owner when the Carolinas were unanimously awarded the NFL’s 29th franchise. More recently, Richardson played a pivotal role as Co-Chairman of the NFL Executive Committee in reaching an unprecedented 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association in 2011.
“Jerry Richardson has always put himself out there to take those tough jobs and get it done in a way that reflects well on the NFL and this franchise,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell of Richardson’s efforts on behalf of the league as well as his Panthers.
A lifelong resident of the Carolinas, Richardson and his wife, Rosalind Sallenger Richardson, have a son, Mark, a daughter, Ashley Richardson Allen, and lost their eldest son Jon in 2013. The Richardsons have nine grandchildren and one great grandchild and live in Charlotte.