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Ron Rivera would rather keep his politics and his football separate

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 24:  Head coach Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers celebrates defeating the Arizona Cardinals with a score of 49 to 15 to win the NFC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium on January 24, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Getty Images

Ron Rivera has already said his piece about the flag, and Colin Kaepernick’s right to take a knee through the national anthem if he pleases.

But the Panthers coach might have to see it again this weekend, along with facing some other social issues he would rather not have to deal with.

Via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review, Rivera was asked Thursday about the NCAA and ACC pulling championship games out of North Carolina — including the ACC football title game at Bank of America Stadium — Rivera made it clear he’d prefer to stay out of such discussions, equating the current HB2 debate to the 1980 Olympic boycott.

“I didn’t think it was fair. We were using sports as pawns. We weren’t happy with the politics in Russia. What did they do? They were invading Afghanistan,” Rivera said. “To me, it’s about sports. People come to the stadium to get away.

“As far as I’m concerned, sports is sports and politics is politics. You want to talk politics; you want to get involved — throw your hat in the political ring. You want to make change — vote. Vote. That’s the truth of the matter.”

Whether fairly or unfairly, the focus we place on sports and the around the clock coverage has caused the line between entertainment and politics to blur. And as long as players such as Kaepernick are going to leverage the attention they can receive for their causes, it’s going to force more thoughtful people (including Rivera) to have to talk about it.

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16 Responses to “Ron Rivera would rather keep his politics and his football separate”
  1. chippysbinky says: Sep 15, 2016 4:49 PM

    “Ron Rivera would rather keep his politics and his football separate”

    He’s not alone

  2. rtl1984 says: Sep 15, 2016 4:56 PM

    Football, as with any sport, is used as an escape for the common fan. It’s a temporary escape from the world, where the only thing we have to worry about is those third & long situations that make our guy churn.

    I agree with Rivera. It should be kept separate, however impossible it may seem now. I really couldnt care less about who kneels or who doesn’t, I just wanna watch grown ass men toss around a ball. Sports is based on sportsmanship (duh), competitiveness, and entertainment. Politics is none of that. Please, please make it stop.

  3. mattwalshvideo says: Sep 15, 2016 4:58 PM

    As long as the left wing controlled networks are going to keep showing the useful idiots kneeling then the boring displays of idiocy will continue.

    Simple solution, stop airing the idiocy on TV.

  4. JSpicoli says: Sep 15, 2016 5:01 PM

    If Rivera had a network or a website that talked about football, hint, he wouldn’t load it up with all kinds of biased opinions and slanted articles to push his narrative like pond scum

  5. flaccojumpball says: Sep 15, 2016 5:04 PM

    He’s out of touch. I understand that he is a minority and all but 400 years of oppression is more important than football. He’s blinded by his loyalty to a racist country and a racist state. The anthem needs to go and the fraternal police order definetly needs to go. Black Lives Matter is more important than a game.

  6. fedegene says: Sep 15, 2016 5:05 PM

    Thanks, coach. We need a lot more common sense. If only those in office and in the media have the same savvy that you showed here…

  7. jgedgar70 says: Sep 15, 2016 5:07 PM

    He makes an apt comparison with the Olympics in that there is a strong effort going on right now to use athletes based in NC as pawns in the debate about House Bill 2. And there is no possible way to answer any questions about it without 50% of the people castigating you as completely evil, which is what passes for debate these days – “Do you agree with my view? No? Well, that makes you the most evil person in the world.”

    You can’t blame anyone affiliated with the Panthers, Hornets or any other NC-based athletes for not wanting to talk about it.

  8. Deb says: Sep 15, 2016 5:20 PM

    And as long as players such as Kaepernick are going to leverage the attention they can receive for their causes, it’s going to force more thoughtful people (including Rivera) to have to talk about it.

    It wouldn’t if Goodell didn’t play fast-and-loose with his rules for on-field behavior. I’m extremely politically active, and believe Kaepernick has a right to his own views–on his own time. But I’ve never brought my politics into the workplace to annoy my customers or create division among my coworkers. Why should he?

    For heaven’s sake, we hear politics nearly ’round the clock these days. We should be allowed to escape during a football game–and if Goodell were as interested in keeping the focus on the game as he is on what cleats the players wear, we would be.

  9. rohinaz says: Sep 15, 2016 5:23 PM

    Propel used to go to pft to read about sports and get away, now it’s a left wing megaphone.

  10. i, flounder says: Sep 15, 2016 5:35 PM

    i can’t take anyone seriously who thinks voting is the solution.

  11. dalvar1001 says: Sep 15, 2016 6:11 PM

    Smart man and a credit to his organization. Always with class.

  12. charliecharger says: Sep 15, 2016 6:48 PM

    Ron Rivera went to University of California Berkeley. He’s been around some very intelligent people from every race, and every corner of the globe, who can give you great arguments from any perspective. Don’t be surprised if this stuff doesn’t ruffle his feathers too much.

  13. pick6ftw says: Sep 15, 2016 7:04 PM

    Murder rates are up across the nation in 25 major cities, including Chicago which has turned into a war zone with over 500 deaths and 3000 people shot on the streets, and it isn’t the police or the KKK that’s racking up dead bodies.

    You want to make a difference? Protest against the hood mentality Colin, the same hood mentality that gave you up for adoption and that for some reason you seem to try to constantly reconnect with.

  14. sigbouncer says: Sep 15, 2016 8:07 PM

    “I didn’t think it was fair. We were using sports as pawns. We weren’t happy with the politics in Russia. What did they do? They were invading Afghanistan,” Rivera said. “To me, it’s about sports. People come to the stadium to get away.

    ___________________________________

    Amen Coach Rivera. Well said sir, very well said.

    We don’t want politics in our Football.

  15. favreisadouche says: Sep 15, 2016 8:14 PM

    Both have been corrupted by the almighty $$$. What Riverboat fails to acknowledge is the $100million in public money that was scandalously approved by the Charlotte city council in cloak and dagger fashion with Jerry Richardson pulling the strings. Part of the sell job was the fact there would be events outside the NFL that would be held at BOA stadium, but because of bigoted politicians that tax money is wasted. Pat McCrory is a complete putz

  16. mutantman87 says: Sep 16, 2016 7:08 AM

    Rivera is right about the 1980 Olympics. It’s totally unfair to athletes that have made training their life’s work for years to be denied the opportunity to compete because a few politicians disagree with each other. A friend of my dad’s was in his swimming prime in 1980 and never got to compete in that once in a lifetime opportunity because of the boycott. After all, we didn’t boycott the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, despite the fact that China occupies Tibet, hacks into our private and public computer networks, and is guilty of terrible human rights abuses such as political prisoners, religious persecution, etc, and builds nuclear weapons as it pleases.

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