The Carolina Panthers are up for sale, with Jerry Richardson having announced his decision to sell the team after the NFL launched an investigation into workplace misconduct by the longtime owner. 

According to a Sports Illustrated report that emerged during the regular season, the misconduct reportedly included sexual and racial comments made to employees at Bank of America Stadium. If the SI report is correct, the comments that were made are wildly inappropriate.

Which makes it borderline impossible to understand why Texans owner Bob McNair would suggest they might have been jokes. 

According to Jarrett Bell of USA Today, that's exactly what he did, saying the comments could have been jokes and that Richardson probably didn't mean to insult or offend anyone. 

"Some of the comments could have been made jokingly," McNair said of Richardson. "I'm sure he didn't mean to offend anybody."

In the SI report, it's noted that Richardson's behavior was treated as a "running office joke" and one former employee said it was viewed as "more of a creepy-old man thing than a threat." But even so, the behavior outlined was unacceptable. 

For McNair to suggest it all might be one big joke is, as Bell writes, "tone deaf."

It's reminiscent of the line McNair reportedly used during a previous owners meeting, when he referred to protesting players as "inmates."

"We can't have the inmates running the prison," McNair reportedly said back in October.

McNair also sort of doubled down on his belief as it relates to political statements.

"Our playing field, that's not the place for political statements," McNair said. "Not the place for religious statements."

Neither of these statements is going to sit extremely well with the general populace, although certainly the statement about protesting rings true to the ears of many people. That issue remains extremely divided.

What's not divided, at least according to what's been reported, is the issue of what went on in Carolina under Richardson's watch. It's extremely odd and concerning for McNair to take such a light approach to the actions of an owner in the workplace.