Thomas flips off Seahawks after injury; Carroll says 'give him a little slack'
SEATTLE - Even as he rode on the cart with a broken left leg, Earl Thomas couldn't put aside his frustration with the Seattle Seahawks.
Thomas, who wanted contract security beyond this season or a trade, made an obscene gesture toward the Seattle side of the field as he was being carted off the gridiron.
"Earl wanted an extension and at the end of the day he didn't get that," Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark said. "It sucks to see a guy who puts his heart into something, put his all into his team and he doesn't get what he deserves."
Commenters on KOMO News' Facebook page were divided about Thomas' angry gesture.
"Might not be appropriate, but at that point in time, can you blame him?" wrote KOMO commenter Robert Baker in support of Thomas.
Another commenter, Dennis Minor, asked, "Why is it OK for teachers to not be happy with a contract but it’s not OK for an athlete to be unhappy with his? Dollar amounts don’t matter. ... Earl just wanted security beyond this year ..."
Others, however, were more critical of Thomas' action.
"He broke both his leg and his dignity. One has a greater chance of healing ..." wrote commenter Mark Krandle.
"Shows what a poor sport he is," wrote Linda Berglund. "Very uncalled for. Get rid of him and fast."
But Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said people shouldn't be too critical of Thomas.
"People that are criticizing whatever happened don't understand. This was an earth-shattering moment for a kid," Carroll said. "Give him a little slack. This is a very, very difficult moment that most people wouldn't understand what that was all about."
The safety was injured in the fourth quarter while defending Arizona's Chad Williams, who caught a tying touchdown pass.
Thomas, a three-time All-Pro, held out at the start of training camp before returning a week before the season despite not being granted his extension. Teammates understood his insult after the injury.
"We play a very, very emotional game," Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "I think sometimes you have to allow people to have their emotions. I don't think nothing of it. I think he has a long road ahead of him if it is the injury he is expecting."
The Seahawks recovered to win 20-17, salvaging a victory from a game in which they also lost starting tight end Will Dissly. The rookie was carted to the locker room in the first quarter with a knee injury.