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CBS News Miami's Samantha Rivera confronts rowdy Golden Knights fan at Stanley Cup Finals

By CBS Miami Team,


CBS News Miami's Samantha Rivera battles with rowdy fan 02:56

MIAMI — The Florida Panthers may be tough on the ice but sports reporter Samantha Rivera is even tougher.

Following Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Las Vegas, Rivera was just about to recap the match between the Panthers and Golden Knights when a rowdy Knights fan tried to interrupt her live shot.

In the video, you can hear Rivera push through her report while stiff-arming the fan, telling them "No, no," before she jumps into the highlights from Monday's game.

The clip soon went viral on social, gathering at least 7.9 million views and over 45,000 likes on Twitter as of Tuesday afternoon. Thousands of users praised Rivera for her style and grace in handling the fan, all while maintaining professionalism and eye contact with the camera.

"Listen, I don't give a damn what team you're rooting for," Rivera tweeted Monday night. "Get the hell out of my face when I'm working and respect that I'm here doing my job."

Rivera spoke with her CBS News Miami colleague Najahe Sherman more about what led up to the viral moment.

"It was so interesting. I saw a man out of the corner of my eye -- it looked he was talking to another man and I could see them staring at us and at one point, they were pointing at us, too," she said.

"I think they might have seen our CBS Miami flag and I had a bad feeling, and we were already on camera and I was afraid they were going to take me early. So, I wanted to tell our photographer Bruno but I couldn't because like I said, I was afraid they were going to take me early. So, I kept an eye on him."

"I don't know if I heard him or felt him, but I could definitely sense him," Rivera said. "And the second I did, my arm came out and I said, 'It's not happening. I worked too hard for this.'"

Rivera also explained how she managed to keep her cool on air.

"Things happen and I wasn't sure what he was going to do," she said. "Like I said, I had a bad feeling but I kept looking down but I was thinking, 'I cannot get distracted.'"

When asked about the viral response the moment received, she said she received a lot of nice responses, with family and friends saying how proud they were of her.

If anything was learned from this moment, Rivera has one message to fans:

"Just respect us," she said. "We wouldn't go into your jobs and try to mess up what you're doing. If you're a firefighter, teacher -- we're going to let you do what you do, and I hope fans have the same level of respect for us."

The Las Vegas Golden Knights have reached out to apologize for the incident, saying they promise to have security for Rivera when the Panthers return for Game 5.

Until then, Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals will be at home for the Panthers on Thursday, where the puck will drop in FLA Live Arena at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

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