Ron Rivera: I Don't Want an Atmosphere Where People Are Afraid to Tell the Truth

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2020

Washington Redskins head coach Ron Rivera listens to a question during a news conference at the team's NFL football training facility, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Ron Rivera is hoping to turn things around with the Washington Football Team both on and off the field, the latter being especially important after 15 former female employees of the team alleged sexual harassment and abuse within the organization.

Rivera was head coach of the Carolina Panthers when owner Jerry Richardson was fined and eventually forced out after an investigation about sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace. Now, in the same role with Washington, the coach is looking to change the environment.

"I really want an open-door policy," he told John Keim of ESPN. "A lot of those things occurred [in Carolina] and people were afraid to speak up. ... I don't want an atmosphere where people are afraid to tell the truth."

In the initial report by the Washington Post, former employees said they didn't feel their voices were heard.

While Rivera is in charge of the football team, he aims to spend time on the business side of the organization.

"Just being around and connecting with people and talking with them and letting them feel they're a part of this," he said.

The 58-year-old was hired by Washington this offseason, not long after his tenure with the Panthers came to an end. He spent nine years with Carolina, accumulating a 76-63-1 record while leading the team to the Super Bowl in 2015.

He has spent over 20 years in the NFL as a coach with four different organizations before starting his new position in Washington. This experience will hopefully help him succeed in his latest challenge.