Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith expressed disappointment in Ric Flair's pre-game motivational speech to the San Francisco 49ers last weekend, however, there's more to the story than The Nature Boy "turning heel" on his hometown team.
Flair was requested for a motivational speech by one of the 49ers players. The team reached out to WWE about booking Flair and the request was easily granted. One of the reasons why this was able to get done so seamlessly has to do with WWE's relationship with the team after announcing that Wrestlemania 31 will take place from Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California in 2015.
San Francisco 49ers Owner and CEO Jed York played a key role in bringing Wrestlemania to the venue and even spoke at the Wrestlemania 31 press conference last month.