Earl Thomas Confirms He Was Flipping Off Pete Carroll
Former Seahawks safety Earl Thomas broke his leg in September against the Arizona Cardinals. As he was carted off the field he raised the middle finger to the Seahawks bench.
It was not surprising considering his outspoken request for a contract, which was denied. After the game Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Thomas was forgiven and asked the public not to judge him. An NFL injury is something few of us will experience and what's going on inside one's head in that situation is not something us fans should condemn, he explained.
Now that Thomas has signed with the Baltimore Ravens for far more than he was expecting as a free agent, he's feeling good about the future and was willing to laugh off the incident last year in an interview this week.
He confirmed, yes, he was flipping off Pete Carroll thinking, "You won," referencing the team's holdout on his contract negotiation.
The NFL fined Thomas more than $10k for his unsportsman-like conduct. With a $32M new contract I don't feel bad for him paying out $10k, and I personally agree with the league fining such behavior.
While I will not judge a man in his position, I do remember advice given to me by a mentor which I hope I will always apply in similar situations: Don't burn any bridges. My mentor said the lesson was taught to him when he wanted to make an epic exit from an unhappy employment situation, and by acting maturely new opportunities opened up for him later. Those are words I hope to live by.