With Ron Rivera no longer the head coach of the Carolina Panthers following a late-season firing, he could be staying at home and wallowing in misery. That hasn't been his mindset, however, as the former coach is out trying to spread some joy. According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Rivera was visiting the troops in Virginia Beach.
As a photo posted on Sunday showed, the former Panthers coach was spending time with those in Seal Teams two and four. He has friends in those groups and wanted to use his extra free time with them instead of watching a battle in Atlanta.
Rivera is the son of a Vietnam veteran and has long been interested in supporting those in military service. He grew up in multiple locations due to his father being stationed around the world. Panama, Washington, D.C., Germany, and Maryland, and Monterey, California were all places that Rivera called home.
Ron Rivera was fired Tuesday by @Panthers but he didn’t wallow in self pity. The son of a Vietnam Veteran (Eugenio Rivera) headed to visit his Seal Teams two & four friends in Virginia Beach. #leadership pic.twitter.com/UxFWLHKtuR— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) December 8, 2019
“[There’s] a tremendous sense of community within the military, within military families, that there’s that tight bond that has to be developed. Watching how the military does things, certain cohesiveness and togetherness that is formed, the bonds that they create are really truly important,” Rivera said prior to coaching his team in Super Bowl 50.
As Rivera revealed during the leadup to a 2015 matchup with the Denver Broncos, coaching the Carolina Panthers provided him with a unique opportunity. There are multiple military bases surrounding Charlotte, including Fort Bragg in Fayetteville. Rivera, his wife Stephanie, were able to visit the surrounding bases and spend time with the troops. They also served as volunteers and ambassadors with the USO.
Despite being recently fired, Rivera won't be changing his approach. He will continue to work with the USO and visit those that currently serve in the military. The visit to the Seal Teams on Sunday is just further evidence of this fact.
If Rivera lands another gig as a head coach, which is considered likely at this point, it's guaranteed that he will continue to work with the military. Although he will have to find a different local base to visit when given the opportunity.
Photo Credit: Jacob Kupferman/Getty