Football Team

Rivera looking to RBG as inspiration to coach through cancer treatment

Football Team

For better or worse, Ron Rivera has coached the Washington Football Team from the sidelines while undergoing cancer treatments and plans to continue doing so throughout the 2020 season. 

He's had to miss practice at times, and sometimes sit on the bench and let defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio man the controls during games.

Rivera's in his first season as Washington's head coach with hopes of turning the franchise around after 20 years of inconsistent play and problems off the field. His limitations due to his treatment have to be difficult to come to peace with, but he's stayed focused by channeling the energy of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"First of all it's who I am," Rivera said on Good Morning America. "Listening to the doctors tell me how important it is to try and do as much of the routine as possible, but they also tell you, 'Hey, be careful and listen to your body.' And also, there's other people watching me, so I'm just trying to set the example.

"I mean hey, RBG, she went through it, so I figure I can too," he said.

Ginsburg was the embodiment of perseverance during her time on the bench from 1993-2020. She had five separate bouts with cancer but managed to keep working with the exception of a few hospitalizations through the years.

Complications from pancreatic cancer ultimately claimed her life in mid-September, ending a 27-year run on the Supreme Court. During her time, she fought against gender discrimination in education, the workplace and the medical field.


It's a difficult reputation to live up to for any American, and hopefully Rivera only has one cancer fight to go through instead of five. But if he's going to follow in RBG's footsteps, then Washington fans should expect Rivera to keep coaching until he physically can't.