In his postgame speech yesterday, Panthers coach Ron Rivera asked players to break after yelling “Mr. Richardson” on the count of three—a reference to team owner Jerry Richardson, who has given up day-to-day operations of the club and put it up for sale after being accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment and racist behavior.
A 37-second video of the speech was posted on the team’s website under the title “Watch Coach Rivera’s speech after win over Bucs.” Rivera finished the speech by telling the players, “Everything we do is about team. The most important thing is about team, okay? All right, do me a favor—‘Mr. Richardson’ on three. 1-2-3!” As seen in the video, many players went along with it.
When asked by the Charlotte Observer why he decided to explicitly endorse an owner leaving in disgrace after reports of sexist and racist behavior, Rivera replied that he knew nothing about the situation that led his boss to give up his job and put the team up for sale:
“What I’ve always said is I know nothing about that. I can only speak for what he has been to me and the players,” Rivera said Tuesday. “And that’s why I did it.”