Shannon Sharpe: Ron Rivera was wrong to bench Cam Newton

The reigning NFL MVP was benched for the first series of Sunday's Panthers-Seahawks game, and Carolina coach Ron Rivera revealed after the game that the decision to sit Cam Newton was made because Newton chose to not wear a tie to the stadium.

Derek Anderson got the start over Newton, and the punishment immediately blew up in the Panthers' face. Anderson threw an interception on his first pass of the game, and Newton then took over when the Panthers got the ball back. Seattle went on to win 40-7, dropping the Panthers to 4-8 on the season.

On Monday's episode of “Undisputed,” Shannon Sharpe argued that Rivera never would have benched Newton if the Panthers were having a better season.

“What did [Rivera] stand to gain by benching him? You stood to lose more than you could ever possibly gain.

Every coach that I’ve played for, and I played for a bunch of them, the first thing they tell us the first time they gather us up … he says ‘guys I’m going to treat all of you fair, but I’m not going to treat you all the same.’

Jimmy Johnson told a story of how a guy was sleeping in a meeting, and he cut him. And the reporter said, ‘What if that had been Troy Aikman?’ He said ‘I’d have woke his [expletive] up.’

…. You know what this goes to show me? It’s like when you lose, everything is a reason why you’re losing. I bet you any amount of money had they had this record this year like they had last year, and Cam wore that exact same outfit, what do you want to bet [Rivera] wouldn’t have did what he did?”