Panthers Coach Ron Rivera: ‘Sports is Sports. Politics is Politics. Keep Them Separate’

Pittsburgh Steelers v Carolina Panthers

Unlike any other season before it, the 2016 NFL season has been more about politics than actual football. Numerous players have joined 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick in protest during the anthem and it continues to gain national attention.

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera would like nothing more than to keep politics out of sports—because sports provide that escape for people who just want to get away from the trials and tribulations of this crazy world.

“People come to the stadium to get away. And I decided that after the 1980 Olympic boycott. I didn’t think it was fair. We were using sports as pawns,” Rivera said to Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer.

“We weren’t happy with the politics in Russia, and what did they do? They were invading Afghanistan. So as far as I’m concerned, sports is sports and politics is politics. If you want to talk politics, if 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.”

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