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Remembered Rivera

Naya Rivera Remembered As “Beautiful Legend” By Her Family: “Heaven Gained Our Sassy Angel” – Deadline

On the fateful July 13, Naya Rivera’s family’s worst nightmare came true. After five agonizing days of a search operation at Lake Piru, the body of the former Glee actress was recovered. Rivera, a daughter, mother and sister, was 33.

Naya with her mom
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The gut-wrenching photos of Rivera’s parents and brother at the lake last week showed a family coping with unimaginable grief. Yesterday, they got closure by getting their girl back.

And while nothing will alleviate their pain, in their first public statement, released to Deadline by Rivera’s manager Gladys Gonzalez on their behalf, Rivera’s family chose to focus on Naya’s “everlasting legacy and magnetic spirit.”

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They also thanked everyone who was involved in the search, including “the heroine who found her,” as well as those who prayed for Naya, while asking for privacy as they continue to mourn her loss.

Here is the family’s statement:

We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers for Naya, Josey and our family over the past week. While we grieve the loss of our beautiful legend, we are blessed to honor her everlasting legacy and magnetic spirit. Naya was an amazing talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter and sister.

Thank you to the men and women of the Ventura, Tulare, and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Departments for your commitment and unwavering effort to find Naya. We extend endless gratitude and ovation to the heroine who found her. Thank you to her friends, colleagues, and fans for your continuous support.

Heaven gained our sassy angel. We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very difficult time.

Naya with her sister
Family Archive

Actress-singer Rivera, also known for her roles on Step Up: High Water and Devious Maids, went missing Wednesday during a boating trip with her 4-year-old son Josey at Lake Piru north of Los Angeles. Her body was recovered yesterday, with the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office today ruling her death accidental drowning. In her final moments, she is believed to have helped her son to safety on their boat.

Naya Rivera is survived by her parents, Yolanda and George Rivera; brother, Mychal Rivera; sister, Nickayla Rivera; and son Josey.

Here are two photos of Naya with her dad through the years:

Family Archive

Naya with her son in her final Instagram post:

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Awesome Rivera

Ron Rivera says it ‘would be awesome’ if Redskins change name by start of 2020 season – The Washington Post

Washington Redskins Coach Ron Rivera said he has been working with team owner Daniel Snyder in recent weeks to come up with a new name for the organization, and he hopes the change could happen within two months.

“If we get it done in time for the season, it would be awesome,” Rivera said in a phone interview Saturday.

Rivera said he and Snyder have been talking about a name change for more than a month, roughly around the time tribal leaders, politicians and others started their latest push for Snyder to reverse his long-standing policy and eliminate a name that is a dictionary-defined racial slur. He added that Snyder started speaking in earnest with NFL officials about the move 2½ weeks ago and suggested the owner is ready to make the move.

Snyder has been under tremendous pressure from top sponsors, including FedEx (whose founder, Fred Smith, is a minority owner of the team) and Nike, to change the name. On Friday, Snyder announced the franchise is undergoing “a thorough review” of the name, and people with knowledge of the situation said Snyder will change it.

Rivera, who has been vacationing, said Snyder has been calling him early on many mornings to discuss the name and brainstorm replacements.

“We came up with a couple of names — two of them I really like,” Rivera said, declining to reveal those possibilities.

Rivera said he believes the most important criteria for a new name is that it is respectful of Native American culture and traditions and also is a tribute to the military. The son of an Army officer, Rivera was raised on military bases; he noted that many Native Americans serve in the military, and he believes the new name should reflect that. And he indicated Snyder agrees with that.

“We want to do this in a positive way,” Rivera said, adding that he wants to be sure the name won’t be “a joke.”

Rivera’s feelings about the name have evolved. Part of his childhood was spent in the Washington area, and he grew up with an affinity for the franchise. He admired Hall of Fame linebacker Chris Hanburger and attended a football camp coached by the franchise’s all-time leading passer, Joe Theismann. And he loved the team name.

“It was hard to fathom that it was in any way a racist thing, to be honest with you,” he said. “Now, putting it in perspective, there’s been a change.”

He said he believes the name should change.

“My eyes are wide open,” he said.

When asked whether Snyder believes the same thing, Rivera said he thinks so, based on their conversations.

On Dec. 30, Snyder fired longtime team president Bruce Allen and hired Rivera as coach the next day. At the time, the team portrayed the moves as a fresh start for the beginning of a new decade. Rivera said he and Snyder have talked about the name change being a part of that new beginning.

Until a few days ago, Rivera had not publicly discussed the team’s name. This past week, he was asked about it during an appearance on a Chicago radio station. He caused a stir when he said, “I think that’s a discussion for another time.”

He clarified his remarks Saturday, saying he had prepared to talk about the team’s response to the death of George Floyd and the protests that followed — a subject he had addressed publicly earlier in June, when he announced a franchise initiative to create team-sponsored town halls to discuss race issues. He said he considered those protests to be a separate issue from the dispute over the team name — even though the latest calls to change the name spilled from the protests.

He said he didn’t address the name change directly because he considered it to be a Washington-area issue and he didn’t want to talk about it on a radio program in another city.

“That’s meant for the D.C. area,” he said. “That is our conversation.”

He said he has been researching the team’s history, reading books and other material on the subject, and he even had the team prepare a nearly two-hour presentation about the team’s beginnings and the name’s origins. He said he has not minded the process and believes it to be part of his job. And he said he took a call from “a high, high-up person” in the NFL office Friday to discuss the name change.

“It’s what I signed up for,” Rivera said.

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