Prior to Sunday’s NFC championship game between the Carolina Panthers and the Arizona Cardinals, head coach Ron Rivera has barred the controversial, electric scooters from practice facilities. After witnessing a series of drag races between players, Rivera decided to bring a halt to the two-wheeled festivities before one of the players fell and potentially sustained an injury during the postseason.
Speaking in a press conference on Monday, Rivera said “Truthfully, somebody told me about them igniting so I went on YouTube and found them. They also showed the (videos) with people falling off, people making sharp turns and there was somebody standing there and running into them. I can’t imagine…That’s what concerns me more than anything else is something crazy happening…I caught them drag racing in the hallways one time too. You’ve got to be careful.”
Rivera didn’t specifically call out the players that have been racing on the hoverboards. However, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was spotted riding a hoverboard earlier this year along the streets in Charlotte. Detailed by ESPN, tight end Ed Dickson told the sports publication that roughly 25 players rode hoverboards to visit a nearby food truck earlier in the season.
Interestingly, the ban took place during late December as late season play was getting more serious for the Panthers. Speaking about the ban, defensive end Mario Addison said “He banned it, it got me kind of scared to keep it at home now. So I keep it in the hallway away from everything just in case it decides to blow up on me.”
It’s possible that the NFL could ban the use of hoverboards for people attending Super Bowl 50, which will take place on February 7 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Many major airlines have barred passengers from traveling with hoverboards due to possible exploding batteries.