Florida sports reporter Samantha Rivera has made headlines for her unyielding response to an overzealous fan during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. In a situation that could have been disruptive, Rivera maintained her professionalism and stood her ground, earning praise from colleagues and online observers alike.
CBS Miami sports reporter Rivera was delivering her live coverage of the Vegas Golden Knights’ 7-2 win over the Florida Panthers at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas when the fan attempted to invade her live shot. With her right arm, Rivera effectively fended off the fan, microphone in the other hand, and continued her work without missing a beat.
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
Rivera, a Chicago native and American bilingual sports journalist, addressed the incident on social media. She shared the now-viral video of her “stiff-arm” move on both Twitter and Instagram, emphasizing the importance of respect while she’s doing her job. On Instagram, she wrote, “Panthers lost another rough one tonight but let this serve as a reminder to back the hell off when I’m working and respect that I’m doing my job”. Her tweet carried a similar message, calling out anyone who would attempt to disrupt her while she’s working, regardless of team loyalty.
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.
— Samantha Rivera (@JSamanthaRivera) June 6, 2023
Her fellow CBS Miami anchors commended her for her handling of the situation during the live shot, with one saying, “Samantha standing her ground there” and another adding, “Absolutely, she could take to the ice”. Rivera embraced the buzz around the incident, even sharing a text exchange on her Instagram story with the phrase, “New nickname for you … Stiff arm”.
Fans on Twitter applauded Rivera’s strength and professionalism, with one saying, “This was somehow the most dominant showing of the night,” and another adding, “Great work keeping your cool and continuing to do your job! That guy needs to show some respect”.
Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final was dominated by the Vegas Golden Knights, who beat the Florida Panthers 7-2. The Golden Knights’ forward Jonathan Marchessault and Brett Howden were particularly outstanding, each scoring two goals. Vegas goaltender Adin Hill also displayed strong play, stopping 28 of 30 shots. This victory gave the Knights a 2-0 series lead.
The game was not without controversy, with officials handing out over 100 penalty minutes, including 11 misconducts. The Golden Knights’ performance in the first two periods was so commanding that Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was replaced in the second period.
The series now shifts to Florida for Game 3, scheduled for Thursday, June 8, with the Panthers hoping to turn the tide on their home ice. As for the unidentified fan involved in the incident with Rivera, it remains unclear if arena security was involved or if the fan faced any disciplinary action.
As the series progresses and the tension heightens, this event serves as a stark reminder of the respect due to professionals at work, even amid the intense passion of sporting events.