It’s not easy being a billionaire and owning your own professional sports team. Just ask David Tepper.
On one hand, you can’t remain a billionaire by mindless squandering away money on costs that you no longer need. On the other hand, there’s the growing, angry social justice mob who – despite being mostly unemployed themselves – will still fight for the proletariat to keep their jobs, whether they are actually necessary or not.
Which brings us to why Tepper Sports and Entertainment is under fire this week: billionaire owner David Tepper decided to lay off workers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The company – which owns the NFL’s Carolina Panthers – has laid off about 30 employees since May, according to Bloomberg.
Carolina announced on Monday of this week that no fans would be attending their season opener.
Tepper’s decision flies in the face of other team owners, who have worked to keep stadium workers paid despite having no fans at the games. Meanwhile, Tepper is well known as the NFL’s “richest owner”, with a net worth of $12.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionare’s Index.
Tepper said on a Zoom call on Wednesday: “I decide on these decisions based on what’s good for the organization and what’s good for the individual. It’s not good to have an individual sit there idle for a year or a year and a half or two years with nothing to do inside the organization.”
But it isn’t just the Panthers making cuts. The NFL has also announced pay cuts for employees making more than $100,00 per year. Additionally, Bills and Sabres owner Terry Pegula laid off 21 employees and furloughed 100 others. The Atlanta Falcons also eliminated 12 positions; including their stadium’s general manager.
The Baltimore Ravens have taken another route; setting up a fund to pay stadium workers even if games are played without fans. The Dolphins are also trying to avoid layoffs.
Dolphins President Tom Garfinke said: “We feel like the pandemic is a very serious, but hopefully short-term situation. We want to try to keep everything intact if we can and look at it as three years of revenues and expenses, as opposed to one year.”
We guess Tepper simply doesn’t want to pay for work he’s not getting productivity out of. And frankly, we don’t blame him.