Earl Thomas stands by the middle finger he famously flashed at his former coach as he was being wheeled off the field last year after suffering an injury.
The six-time Pro-Bowl safety, who signed this year with the Baltimore Ravens, told ESPN he doesn’t like Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll and doesn’t regret showing his then-coach how he felt on live television.
“I don’t regret my decision,” Thomas told Josina Anderson of ESPN. “If my teammates felt like it was toward them, I regret that part. But I don’t regret doing that to Pete.”
Thomas, who spent nine seasons in Seattle as a key part of the defense dubbed “Legion of Boom,” claimed Carroll was expressing phony concern about the broken leg he suffered last September.
“I gave Pete the middle finger because I felt like he wasn’t being honest with me,” said Thomas, adding that he hasn’t spoken to Carroll since.
Thomas was already disgruntled when he broke his leg, having been refused a trade or contract extension and then sitting out the pre-season in protest. This offseason, he got his wish, and inked a four-year, $55 million deal with the Ravens, $32 million of which is fully guaranteed.
The 30-year-old gridder knows he has one common bond with his nemesis, however: Seattle’s 2014 Super Bowl victory over Denver.
“We got to walk with each other the rest of our lives because we won a Super Bowl together,” Thomas told ESPN. “But they’ll love you one minute and then hate you the next. That was our relationship.”
For his part, Carroll was gracious when the incident occurred, telling ESPN he didn’t hold the gesture against Thomas.
“I know there’s been a lot of talk about it, people that are criticizing whatever happened don’t understand … give him a little slack,” Carroll said. “This is a very, very difficult moment that most people would never understand what this is about.”
Thomas, who has 28 career interceptions, said he hopes to retire a Seahawk.
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