Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera defended his decision to use the name of his embattled owner during his postgame, locker-room speech Sunday after the Panthers clinched a playoff berth. A week after owner and founder Jerry Richardson announced he was selling the team amid an NFL investigation and allegations of sexual misconduct and use of a racial slur, Rivera asked his players to shout Richardson’s name following the 22-19 win against Tampa Bay. In a video posted on the team’s website, Rivera says: “Just remember guys, this is about team. Everything we do is about team. The most important thing is about team, OK? All right, do me a favor – ‘Mr. Richardson’ on three. 1-2-3!” Some critics on social media and Charlotte sports-talk radio questioned Rivera’s decision to rally around an owner accused of maintaining a pattern of sexually suggestive language and behavior and, in at least one instance, directing a racial slur at an African-American scout.
Ron Rivera doubles down on making Jerry Richardson a rallying cry
Charlotte Observer | Dec 26