A sports reporter is earning praise online after a video of her Monday night Stanley Cup Final broadcast, showing her pushing a fan out of her live shot while continuing to report on the game, went viral.
In the video, which followed the Las Vegas Golden Knights winning 7-2 against the Florida Panthers, CBS Miami reporter Samantha Rivera is seen stiff-arming a fan out of her frame when the person attempted to disrupt her coverage.
“Nope! Nope! Nope!” Rivera, 28, shouts as she puts out her arm and blocks the fan, whose face is never fully seen, from entering the live shot.
Listen, I don’t give a damn what team you’re rooting for - get the hell out of my face when I’m working and respect that I’m here to do my job.
Excited to get back home to some classy #Panthers fans for game 3!! pic.twitter.com/iWDQl0Rtvv
— Samantha Rivera (@JSamanthaRivera) June 6, 2023
Rivera shared the moment on Twitter late Monday night in a post that’s been viewed over 12 million times to date. “Listen, I don’t give a damn what team you’re rooting for — get the hell out of my face when I’m working and respect that I’m here to do my job,” the Chicago native tweeted alongside a short (audio-free) video of the moment.
That footage garnered praise from colleagues and sports fans alike — including fellow CBS Miami sports reporter Trish Christakis who retweeted the post, writing: “Don’t mess with Chicago girls.”
The NFL’s official Twitter also caught wind of the moment: “Elite form,” it noted of her quick reflexes, retweeting the clip alongside another showing Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry stiff-arming an opposing player in the middle of a game.
While the candid moment offered some levity on Twitter, Rivera tells Yahoo Life it also serves as a reminder for reporters to "stay calm" if ever they're in similar situations.
"I think I did exactly what I needed to do in the right moment," she says. Immediately after, the focus became about maintaining her composure and doing her job. "I had to focus on my next live shot. I had to be like, alright, let’s keep looking at these notes and keep looking at what I have to do next. Focus on that and then we’ll worry about all the other stuff afterwards.”
Still, it certainly tested her patience.
“I was mad, I was annoyed and I had adrenaline in me as soon as it happened," she recalls. "I was annoyed that somebody would come into my workspace and try to disrespect it like that, because I wouldn’t go to somebody else’s place of work and try to mess up what they’re doing.”
Thankfully, her colleagues at the news station were “super caring” about the situation. “People reached out to make sure I was OK," she explains.
“The fact that I am a woman, because I was small, maybe he thought he had a better chance to try and do something crazy on air, but I honestly don't know,” she surmises. “I think if I were a man, he probably would have still done something, I don't know if it would have been that exactly, but who knows.”
The next morning, she was shocked to see the attention the video had received — nearly 3 million views in less than 24 hours. “My phone was just blowing up with text messages and phone calls, and my social media notifications were going off like crazy,” she says of the response.
The feedback was so "overwhelming" that she decided to go to her dad for some parental advice.
“He was like, ‘You did a great job. Take it all in, put away your phone and take a mental break, get some rest.'" Of course, for a reporter, that's easier said than done.
“It’s hard to completely move away from your phone,” she says with a laugh.
Samantha Rivera, a reporter for CBS Miami, STIFF ARMS a Vegas Golden Knights fan who tries to interrupt her live reporting 💪💪 pic.twitter.com/IEeBNgBfyI
— Gino Hard (@GinoHard_) June 6, 2023
As for others who find themselves in a similar situation while reporting live — particularly women of color like herself, stresses Rivera, who is Mexican-American — her advice is simple: "Stay calm and stand your ground."
“I know it can be hard,” she explains. “You are thinking about the situation you're in, but you're also thinking: OK, what if I do this? What if I do that? Will I get in trouble? Will something happen to me? It can be scary, but just keep doing what you're doing, because at the end of the day, you're going to be happier that you did things the right way — and that you stood up for yourself.”
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