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Despite NFL fine, Pierre Thomas defends giving a fan a gift

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

Pierre Thomas was fined $7,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct for putting a bow on a football and giving it to a fan, and another $5,000 for wearing red and green tape. But he says it was worth it.

Thomas, whose bow-on-football stunt came after he scored a touchdown and also got the Saints a 15-yard penalty, said he was glad he did it.

In comments to the Associated Press, Thomas said he was happy he “gave a lucky fan a wonderful gift.” He said he didn’t know the woman but noticed her wearing Saints gear and wanted to thank her for being a fan.

Teammates taped a red bow to the notice of the fine on Thomas’s locker.

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61 Responses to “Despite NFL fine, Pierre Thomas defends giving a fan a gift”
  1. ctiggs says: Dec 30, 2011 5:23 PM

    No Fun League

  2. jacunn2000 says: Dec 30, 2011 5:24 PM

    Geez.. What a jerk!! Who does this guy think he is?

  3. redguy12588 says: Dec 30, 2011 5:24 PM

    Shouldn’t have been a fine, it wasn’t a selfish, “Look at me” celebration. It was a nice festive thing to do for a fan.

    I hate Goodell, I don’t how he sleeps at night.

  4. medtxpack says: Dec 30, 2011 5:25 PM

    Saint story!!! Playoffs looming.

    must…
    bring….
    up…
    SEAHAWKS!!

  5. acmepacker says: Dec 30, 2011 5:26 PM

    Thomas is right, he gave some lucky fan a wonderful gift. Pretty cool!

  6. bearsstillsuck says: Dec 30, 2011 5:29 PM

    I wouldn’t regret costing my team fifteen yards and getting fined either for such a rare occasion. Imagine, finding the one women in the superdome wearing saints gear.

  7. sojumaster says: Dec 30, 2011 5:30 PM

    The No Fun League strikes again …..

  8. raiduhdude says: Dec 30, 2011 5:31 PM

    This, and Marshawn Lynch getting fined for his skittle cleats, are some of the most stupid penalty/fines ever! Goodell must really wants this to turn into the No Fun League..

  9. jarobinewsome says: Dec 30, 2011 5:33 PM

    I thought the celebration was creative. I understand that we don’t need players stashing all kinds of foreign objects in their uniforms…but c’mon!!! The League should lighten up!! It was Christmas!! Sometimes the NFL = No Fun League.

  10. masurix says: Dec 30, 2011 5:35 PM

    The players showing some appreciation to the fans isn’t just nice, it’s, as Deion Sanders would say, a business decision, too. The Superdome and Lambeau Field are filled to the gills with fans who love the teams and the players and pay a premium to see them. It’s a big contrast to the markets like Cincinnati where even winning doesn’t ward off blackouts. Building that connection is important.

  11. paulsdamnblog says: Dec 30, 2011 5:36 PM

    Way to go Goodell, crack down on those dangerous er uh, christmas bow celebrations…

  12. scytherius says: Dec 30, 2011 5:39 PM

    Well, I will be the first to say I HATE orchestrated end zone celebrations, etc. But c’mon guys.

    Awesome move PT!!!!

  13. suresk says: Dec 30, 2011 5:40 PM

    You know, I’ll be the first to defend Goodell and the NFL over some of the penalties and fines for helmet-to-helmet contact and similar offenses, but the war on TD celebrations is stupid.

    At the end of the day, football is entertainment, and as a fan, I really enjoy watching the players celebrate TDs. If it isn’t offensive, taunting the other team, or extra-long, just let them do their thing.

  14. gerard33 says: Dec 30, 2011 5:42 PM

    Just give the fan the ball, without taking all day to peel the cover off the sticky side of the bow

  15. rexryantheblowhard says: Dec 30, 2011 5:43 PM

    Conclusion: Mr. Goodell is actually Mr. Grinch

    The Grinch that stole Christmas *cough cough the way football should be played*

  16. toner969 says: Dec 30, 2011 5:44 PM

    The lady probably would have appreciated the $7500 a little more than a gift wrapped ball.. just sayin….

  17. sterilizecromartie says: Dec 30, 2011 5:46 PM

    The idea for the celebration was cool,but the execution was terrible. He stood there for about twenty seconds trying to get the bow to stick to the football. He looked like an idiot fumbling around with it while his teammates just stood there being ignored.

    How I long for the day when the players would just hand the ball to the ref and high-five their teammates.

  18. sfraider says: Dec 30, 2011 5:46 PM

    How dare he give a fan that paid $200 for a ticket a gift and a memory that she’ll never forget. That $7500 fine is just what he deserves.

  19. buckeye1nation says: Dec 30, 2011 5:47 PM

    Why is it not OK to put a bow on a ball and give it to a fan but it IS OK to jump into the stands after every touchdown you score at home?

  20. goforthanddie says: Dec 30, 2011 5:48 PM

    redguy12588 says: Dec 30, 2011 5:24 PM

    I hate Goodell, I don’t how he sleeps at night.
    _____________________________

    On a bed of money, undeserved ego, and dead hookers.

  21. spfripp says: Dec 30, 2011 5:50 PM

    Does the league even know what they are doing? That kind of player/fan interaction only can be good for the league. They are the reason we fans spend our hard earned money to attend games and buy NFL apparel. I am no Saints fan but it is a bit refreshing to see a player to show some love to a fan.

  22. goforthanddie says: Dec 30, 2011 5:51 PM

    Soo, in every other business worldwide, customer satisfaction is job 1. In Goddell’s league, it’s punishable.

  23. squared80 says: Dec 30, 2011 5:51 PM

    The NFL has to fine him – it has to be across the board in a union environment. No choice. Pretty simple – nobody should be surprised by it.

  24. woodyg says: Dec 30, 2011 5:52 PM

    Players can do much for the fan without resorting to their own personal on-the-field mellow dramatics ……. Most (if not all) players who premeditate grand shows on the field are doing it for themselves …… It has little to do with the fan ……

    Play the game on the field ……. Contribute to society (and the fan) off the field ….. The game’s already 3 plus hours long …. No need to make it longer …….

  25. worldwidebleater says: Dec 30, 2011 6:00 PM

    After fining Thomas, Goodell then went to Ralph Wilson’s house and yelled at kids to get off the lawn.

  26. wtfchiefs says: Dec 30, 2011 6:01 PM

    That was one of the coolest and most creative celebrations ever. If someone on your favorite team gave a ball to you like that, you’d be on here saying how cool that was/is.

  27. cags777 says: Dec 30, 2011 6:05 PM

    Not a Saints fan, but I thought the penalty was stupid and the fine is ridiculous! Ribbon bow or not, giving the ball to a fan is not unsportsmanlike conduct.

  28. asarabi says: Dec 30, 2011 6:13 PM

    And so continues the NFL’s war on Christmas…and by extension Tim Tebow.

  29. beastofeden says: Dec 30, 2011 6:15 PM

    Remember during the lockout how Goodell and all the millionaires were claiming “we are hurting the fans, THIS IS FOR THE FANS” blah blah blah.

    They don’t care. They never have cared. They only care about their money.

    I’m surprised NFL security goons didn’t confiscate the football.

    we pay $12 a beer, $50 for nose bleeeds, $35 for parking. Half our teams suck. We want entertainment. We want hard hits and celebrations.

    enough is enough.

  30. couchbasher says: Dec 30, 2011 6:22 PM

    was she hot?

  31. packmanfan says: Dec 30, 2011 6:23 PM

    Lemee see if I got this:
    So it’s only OK for a player and all teams to wear a different color such as pink (Pink, for cryin out loud!) but not OK to wear different colors to celebrate the season just because gestapo Goddell dictates it that way?
    Pink is less professional looking than the Christmas colors.

  32. packmanfan says: Dec 30, 2011 6:24 PM

    Teammates taped a red bow to the notice of the fine on Thomas’s locker.
    ——————————————————-

    Wow! That took guts! I expect a fine for all of those players any time now.

  33. dachozen1 says: Dec 30, 2011 6:32 PM

    These fines are out of control. I am surprised Vegas have yet to benefit off of this new craze. I guarantee you it is a matter of time when Vegas will bet the over and under for individuals. Harrison over or under 90k, Duckett over or under 75k, Seymour over or under 60k, Ray Lewis over and under 50k, Pierre Thomas 15k and so on.

  34. dwntwnbadboy19 says: Dec 30, 2011 6:39 PM

    I hate the saints, but i thought what he did was pretty cool. Not like he ran up and punched a fan or whipped the ball at one.

  35. kosarsmyidol says: Dec 30, 2011 6:46 PM

    Stashing a foreign object in his uniform? Who does he think he is, Iron Mike Sharpe? :) Seriously, that is a stupid fine. I can’t wait until the league takes HGH testing as seriously as it does excessive celebrations.

  36. dirtmcgirt24 says: Dec 30, 2011 6:46 PM

    I thought the celebration was an awesome gesture by Thomas.

    But you have to have black-and-white rules. The last thing you need is more area for interpretation for this joke of an officiating team employed by the league.

    Imagine Ron Winter debating with the backjudge how someone’s breakdance routine was too over the top but later in the game didn’t flag someone for his country line dance. I wouldn’t want that clown, or any other clown, making such game-changing interpretations.

    But, note that with Thomas, the league fined him a minimal amount, and that fine money goes to charity. Not only does a lucky fan in the front row get a ball, but a community of poor kids gets money toward a community recreation center. Everyone wins.

  37. tulsacyfan says: Dec 30, 2011 6:50 PM

    Gotta agree with Buckeye1nation – somebody please explain why the Lambeau Leap is not excessive celebration but irrelevant stuff like this is? The Lambeau Leap takes forever to execute and takes just as much time as this did.

    For the record, I like the Lambeau Leap for about the first ten years they did it. Now, not so much.

  38. nflfollower says: Dec 30, 2011 6:52 PM

    Goodell wanted to join the Christmas spirit by giving 15 K to charity—-right out of Thomas’s pocket! Goodell is really out of hand.

  39. Anders Cules says: Dec 30, 2011 6:52 PM

    “Teammates taped a red bow to the notice of the fine on Thomas’s locker.”

    ^^Priceless!

  40. sterilizecromartie says: Dec 30, 2011 6:55 PM

    Why is everyone coming to the defense of these ridiculous celebrations? They aren’t for the fans. The players do it to draw attention to themselves. If Thomas wanted to give the fan a football, then he should just walk up and give them the football. No need for the stupid bow except so he could wind up on Sportscenter.

    In baseball, when a player hits a home run 99% of the time they put their head down, run around the bases, high-five their teammates, and sit down in the dugout. In hockey, when a player scores a goal 99% of the time they raise their stick in celebration, hug their teammates, and get ready for the next faceoff. Why is it that in football every touchdown has to become a theatrical show? If this kind of nonsense happened in baseball or hockey that player would get pegged in his next at-bat or have the gloves dropped on him right after the next face-off. But in the NFL it is totally acceptable. I don’t get it.

  41. earthtopft says: Dec 30, 2011 7:03 PM

    Pee Air had to wrap it with a bow so that the recipient wouldn’t guess what was inside.

  42. raiderspride says: Dec 30, 2011 7:05 PM

    Roger Goodell should be fined $50K for stealing Jon Gruden’s hair style.

  43. steelhammer92 says: Dec 30, 2011 7:07 PM

    The fact that a non-taunting, post-TD celebration can affect the outcome of a football game is laughable.

    This league is going downhill.

  44. earthtopft says: Dec 30, 2011 7:07 PM

    Don’t know that I’d want to touch something that came out of Pierre’s pants. Unless, of course, I looked like the person he gave it to.

  45. earthtopft says: Dec 30, 2011 7:13 PM

    A gesture of acknowledgment to those less fortunate than ourselves. Overdressed skanks in fur coats with two hundred dollar hairdos, and oversized glasses.

  46. ahs2 says: Dec 30, 2011 7:24 PM

    How you can have a fine for this type of thing and some of the silly uniform stuff be the same/more than an over-the-top play hurting someone is beyond me! Sends a really confusing signal. I suggest fining the players for the physical stuff starting a lot more, say 15/20k, and leave the uniform stuff low…either way, this is peanuts to these guys!!

  47. marcinhouston says: Dec 30, 2011 7:35 PM

    There is a war on Christmas, and Fundamentalist Sheik Roger Bin Goodell is leading the charge.

  48. vex24 says: Dec 30, 2011 7:41 PM

    As a Cincinnati Bengals fan, I support the ‘Gift’ celebration….Goodall needs to get off of this madness and at minimum take celebration punishment case by case, just like illegal hits. This is pathetic.

  49. earthtopft says: Dec 30, 2011 8:26 PM

    When he got to the stands Pierre faced a difficult decision. Give the ball to the white haired old lady waving her arms madly, (who has been a season ticket holder since 1936), or the tricked out ho who was placed alongside her by security (at Thomas’ request) prior to the game? He did the right thang.

  50. freedomispopular says: Dec 30, 2011 9:05 PM

    The penalty really didn’t affect them either. He still ended up kicking it to the 1.

  51. colinsnooks says: Dec 30, 2011 9:25 PM

    Stink, Stank, Stunk!

  52. fmwarner says: Dec 30, 2011 9:45 PM

    Excerpted from Goodell’s year-end address:

    “Even our officials may be confused about what a catch or an illegal hit consist of, but sleep easy tonight knowing your NFL has put an end to this insidious gift giving and fan appreciation!”

  53. hatesycophants says: Dec 30, 2011 10:07 PM

    @sterilize,

    Who us forcing you to watch football?

    We already know what you are. Posting comments about a sport you hate and know nothing about is entertaining to no one. No way your parents aren’t related. No freaking way.

    Go Lions! Go Badgers!

  54. vikesandravens78 says: Dec 30, 2011 11:29 PM

    He should be able to make a donation to a charity equal to his fine total instead of paying the actual fine.

  55. walletweb says: Dec 31, 2011 12:54 AM

    @squared80

    Really? I didn’t realize that clerks at the local Quicky Mart knew so much about Labour Relations.

    You are then of the opinion that had Goodell not fined for the bow celebration that the NFLPA would have used this as a reason to challenge every fine going forward or every fine ever given.

    I’m curious which arbitration cases you are citing to prove that point? Are they Federal? State? What experience makes you so familiar with these particular cases that you can make a blanket statement that blames a unionized environment for this?

    My guess is you own your own company but the company actually owns you and that you use your employees unionization as an excuse for your inability to properly run your company.

    You should understand that your employees unionizing is a reflection of the fact that you manage so poorly that they feel the need to have a 3rd party protect them from your incompetence.

    Looking forward to hearing this answer!

  56. grannyvi4 says: Dec 31, 2011 1:03 AM

    With all the stupid antics performed by players in the endzone after scoring, this wasn’t even in the same ballpark (er, stadium). As for the bow and red and green bands on his arm…God forbid anyone should be reminded on Christmas that it’s CHRISTMAS. Or does Roger think that would offend too many people?

    Don’t be such a freaking Scrooge, Rog. you humbug!

  57. t16rich says: Dec 31, 2011 1:45 AM

    vikesandravens78 says:Dec 30, 2011 11:29 PM

    He should be able to make a donation to a charity equal to his fine total instead of paying the actual fine.

    NFL execs are dooshes. All fines should go to charity. Instead it probally ends up being xmas bonuses for their own employees. I kniw NFL does charity but in a perfect world they would never hand out a fine. So in turn they should take the fine money they do collect and start a charity where 100% of fine money goes towards it. Never going to happen but I am just saying

  58. patpatriotagain says: Dec 31, 2011 4:25 AM

    vikesandravens78 says:

    He should be able to make a donation to a charity equal to his fine total instead of paying the actual fine.
    ————————————————-
    that’s exactly what happens. there’s a list of legitimate charities, and the player picks from that list.

  59. geogibso says: Dec 31, 2011 4:52 AM

    NFL…an $8 Billion dollar business that can’t afford to let fans keep game balls that accidentally go into the stands. I’m surprised they didn’t send in their stadium goons to take that gift away too.

  60. FinFan68 says: Dec 31, 2011 6:19 AM

    redguy12588 says:
    Dec 30, 2011 5:24 PM
    Shouldn’t have been a fine, it wasn’t a selfish, “Look at me” celebration. It was a nice festive thing to do for a fan.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    It was a “look at me” kinda thing. He wanted the spotlight and he wanted to be remembered. If it was just about giving the fan something nice he should have just walked over and handed her the ball. No fine, no penalty but less “coverage”. It was a nice gesture but the premeditated “props” are what get these guys in trouble.

  61. melikefootball says: Dec 31, 2011 10:15 AM

    Thomas should have been fined more…he had that all thought out before he got on the field. Yea if you want to give a fan the football do it, that is what others do. No this was I”M on National TV and all is watching so lets show them ME,ME,ME!!!!

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