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Pop Culture

Reporter’s impressive stiff arm of a fan on live TV came with an important message for sports fans

She didn't even lose composure.

samantha rivera, golden knights hockey, rowdy sports fans

Samantha Rivera stiff-arms a hostile fan on live TV.

Samantha Rivera of CBS Miami stiff-armed an obnoxious fan on live TV during the Stanley Cup Finals in Las Vegas on Monday, June 5. The clip caught the attention of millions on social media because she perfectly blocks the Golden Knights fan from interrupting her live shot while maintaining her composure.

Unfortunately, she had to be prepared to fend off the fan because unruly behavior amongst sports fans has become far too common these days. Rivera used the moment to remind fans back at home about how to behave at a hockey game. “That’s the kind of fan you don’t want to be, right?” she said while fending off the intruder.


The clip of Rivera received over 3 million views when it was shared by Awful Announcing, with many fans praising her stiff arm.

Riviera later told Sports Illustrated that she had an eye on the fan and his buddy because she could see them watching her before they went live. That’s why she was prepared to react if the man interfered with the live shot. “Thankfully, it was him just trying to be annoying and get in the shot and make his way on, but it could’ve been worse. You don’t really know in those situations,” Rivera told Sports Illustrated.

When asked if she has any other advice for sports reporters who need to deal with a drunk fan, she said, “Eat your veggies. Go to the gym. Do what you can.”

The big takeaway from Rivera’s viral moment is that Rivera reminded everyone out there that they don’t want to be the drunk and unruly fan at the game. But these days, it feels like there is an epidemic of people who forget that it’s just a game. And that problem extends all the way to youth sports, where parents' inappropriate behavior has become a real problem.

It’s such an issue that in some schools they don’t even allow spectators to attend games.

Why is it that spectator sports routinely make people lose control? Psychologists say that it relates to social identity theory. “The theory goes that people have a need to belong to groups and that membership in these groups provides a basis for their social identification and self-esteem,” Sports Management Hub reports. This is why people so passionately identify with a particular team.

When two groups of people are pitted against one another with their collective identities on the line, there is likely to be friction.

In addition, psychologists believe that sporting events are a way for people to act out their frustrations in life in socially acceptable ways. “Many people don’t have many options to let out their stress and frustration at home or at work. An energetic atmosphere like that of a sports match gives them a reason to let loose,” Sports Management Hub reports.

Then, people are even more likely to act out when things get exciting in the game.

But for the people out there who don’t get the message and are going to act the fool at the next Stanley Cup playoff game, be sure you don’t do it around Samantha Rivera.

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