Carolina Panthers Coach Ron Rivera is a hit on social media for something you’d least expect: His T-shirts.
He wears the shirts during his press conferences, and they range from funny references to Cam Newton’s hats to pointed support for his players’ acts of community service.
The most recent was emblazoned with Cam Newton’s on-field jeer against the Green Bay Packers: “You been watching film huh? That’s cool. Watch this.” That’s in reference to Newton responding to Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews thinking he had a play call figured out.
Rivera has also been spotted in a shirt depicting Newton’s wearing a fez hat, and a shirt worn prior to that promoted Panther Greg Olsen for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, given to athletes for acts of charity.
Panthers sports writer Max Henson noted this week that afternoon press conferences “have become ‘T-shirt time’ with Ron Rivera.”
Yahoo! Sports referred to the latest shirt (the one featuring Newton’s on-field quote) as “epic.”
“Coach Rivera is always creative with T-shirts, but this one might be my favorite thus far,” commented the NFL Network’s Tiffany Blackmon.
Fans are clamoring to find the shirts. The Panthers tweeted a photo of Rivera in one of the shirts this week and it was liked 5,100 times and retweeted 1,200 times in a day. Dozens of commenters wanted to know where they could buy one.
“I will literally give y’all all the money I have for this shirt,” tweeted Megan Jerrell Newton. “I need to wear this in Atlanta for the (playoff) game!”
“That shirt just oozes awesome!” posted another fan on the Panthers Twitter page.
“Y’all can’t keep tweeting pics of these fire shirts and not selling them,” wrote Hayley Mizelle.
“Can y’all stop wearing these dope shirts that aren’t available to the public?” Alec Palladino tweeted.
At this point, the Panthers aren’t selling the T-shirts to the public. They were made for in-house use, according to Panthers communications coordinator Will Bryan.