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Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson will put the NFL franchise up for sale after the end of this season in the wake of accusations against him that include sexual harassment and a racial slur toward a scout who has since left the team.

"There has been no greater mission or purpose in my life than to have brought an NFL franchise to Charlotte," Richardson said Sunday in a news release. "The obstacles back then were significant, and some even questioned whether our community could or would support professional football. But I always knew that if given the chance, The Carolinas would rise to the occasion."

The Panthers have settled with at least four former employees regarding inappropriate workplace behavior by Richardson, according to a Sports Illustrated report.

The NFL has taken over a workplace misconduct investigation into Richardson at the request of the Panthers, who announced Friday that they were looking into accusations made against the owner.

Richardson, 81, allegedly made verbal comments about women's appearances, inappropriately touched female employees and made advances to women that included asking whether he could shave their legs and for them to give him foot rubs.

Neither the NFL nor the Panthers have revealed the nature of the investigation. The team declined to address specifics when contacted by SI, but Panthers spokesman Steven Drummond said Sunday that the team asked the NFL to handle the investigation for "transparency reasons."

The league will retain outside counsel to conduct its inquiry.

"The team has become an Integral part of our community," Richardson said in the statement. "The stadium is in its best condition since the day it opened. And we have played in two Super Bowls. Football is also an integral part of my life -- and I am blessed, every day, that I made the Carolinas my home. I can never repay all of you for the kindness and generosity you have shown me, Rosalind, and my family for more than two decades. We have the best fans in football -- and I truly mean that. In my opinion, we also have the best organization, and they have served us well."