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David Tepper visits bar after sign takes aim at Panthers owner ahead of draft: ‘Let the coach and GM pick’

The Carolina Panthers’ 2024 first-round draft pick was one of multiple picks the Chicago Bears acquired in last year’s blockbuster trade. 

The Panthers moved up to the top spot in the 2023 draft and selected quarterback Bryce Young. 

The Panthers finished last season with a 2-15 record and would have been the first team on the clock in Detroit on Thursday. But the Bears held the rights to the pick and drafted quarterback Caleb Williams. 

David Tepper bought the Panthers in 2018, and the franchise has not had much success since, finishing with a losing record in each of the six seasons since he became owner.

Tepper’s ownership has also been marred by some off-field blunders, the latest of which took place Thursday. Shortly before the draft began, a sign outside a Charlotte bar appeared to rub Tepper the wrong way. 


“Please Let The Coach & GM Pick This Year,” the sign outside the Dilworth Neighborhood Grille, located about a mile from the Panthers’ home stadium, said. The message was a reference to Tepper’s perceived influence over the Panthers’ decision to draft Young instead of C.J. Stroud last year. Stroud was the second overall pick and won Rookie of the Year.

Tepper caught wind of the sign and decided to pay the bar a visit Thursday night. WBTV obtained video footage of Tepper’s exchange with someone working inside the restaurant. At one point, Tepper reached over and took the hat off the man’s head. The hat appeared to feature the Philadelphia Eagles logo.


At the end of the video, Tepper shakes hands with the man before he leaves the building.

The bar’s owner, Dave Wohlforth, was not there when Tepper stopped by, but he said he stands behind the sign’s message.

David Tepper walks

“I do,” Wohlforth told WBTV. “All … everything I’ve heard this year leads me to believe that he is taking that to heart. I just want to make sure.

Although the Panthers’ front office likely did not plan on being particularly busy Thursday night, the team pulled off a trade to get into the first round. Carolina closed out the first round by selecting South Carolina wide receiver Xavier Legette at No. 32.


Shortly after the Panthers’ 2023 campaign ended, a sign outside the restaurant said, “Meddling owners never win. Run from Jerry Jones.”

A video surfaced on New Year’s Eve that appeared to show Tepper throwing a drink at a Jacksonville Jaguars fan from his luxury suite during a game. The NFL later fined Tepper $300,000.

The Dilworth Neighborhood Grille marquee took aim at Tepper. 

“WE LOST SO BAD, TEP ACTUALLY SPILLED HIS DRINK,” the sign said at the time.

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