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Carolina Panthers

Transcript: Rivera on Richardson's plans to sell Panthers

On his reaction to the news that the team is being sold: "A little surprised and taken aback a little bit. Disappointed obviously for the news. But we most certainly will go forward."

On his personal experiences with Richardson through the years: "I've been very fortunate. Before the Panthers came to Carolina, all I really knew of the Carolinas was Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune growing up in the military as a kid. I really didn't know a lot about it, and then he kind of helped put the Carolinas on the map by bringing the Panthers here. For me personally, having him mentor me through the opportunity to grow as a football coach has been tremendous. He has truly helped me and given me every opportunity. He was the first owner in my nine interviews to give me that chance. That's all I can speak of.

"I know the allegations are serious. I know the league is doing an investigation, and everybody should be heard and respected. At the end of the day, who am I to judge? We need to have all the answers before we can do any of that. I just think that as we go forward as a football team, I think it's important to remember that we're still here obviously to play football."

On whether he addressed the latest with his team: "I did address it again with the team. The reason I did obviously was because of the news that came out. I don't know a lot of specifics, but the statements that have been put out (by the franchise) in order speak for themselves. It's a very serious issue, and I don't want to cast any doubt on anything until the investigation is through."


On if he hopes Panthers will remain in the Carolinas: "Very much so. I believe this organization has had a great impact on the Carolinas. It's truly helped the growth of this city and this community. It's been a source of pride and goodwill, and I'd like to see it continue. This is a great community with a really supportive fan base that has been here for us. I know they've been there for me most certainly and for this football team. I hope that somehow it would stay."

On if news of the sale makes it any easier for the players to focus on football: "Very much so. And again, not to discount the serious nature of these allegations. I just think for us, for what we do, we're here to play football. I think it's important we remember that. These allegations don't change what we do. So we just have to try to focus in on getting ready for Tampa Bay."

On if he's spoken with Richardson: "I did speak with Mr. Richardson last night. He was terrific in terms of our conversation. That's when I found out – just before he announced it – that he was going to make the move to sell the team. I don't want to get into the personal nature of our conversation. I think that's between he and I."

On if he's ever witnessed workplace misconduct: "No, I have not. I can only speak for myself personally and the things that I've been around. I've been here in a great situation. It's been a very supportive situation in terms of giving opportunities and creating opportunities for this football team and the people that work in this organization."

On the nature of this distraction: "I don't know how much different it is than some of the things we've dealt with. Again, the thing we all have to understand is the seriousness of these allegations and who they affect. These people need to be heard and respected for what they have to say, and we'll let the process take its course."

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