By Annalece Montgomery
On Sunday’s match between the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals, safety Earl Thomas was carted off the field with an air cast supporting a clearly injured leg. And a middle finger held high in the direction of the Seattle sideline. Unfortunately for him, it’s official: Thomas has a fracture in his left tibia, the same bone in broke in 2016. Seattle went on to defeat Arizona 20-17.
To add literal insult to injury, it was reported that the Kansas City Chiefs had been eyeing a trade for the star safety. Thomas’s future with Seattle had been in question after he made it clear he was unhappy with his contract, which is in its final year. He decided not to hold out any further because $500,000 in weekly game checks was too much money to lose. Seahawks captain, Bobby Wagner, on Earl Thomas: “If he doesn’t come, then he’s not a team player. If he does come and gets hurt, then its ‘he shouldn’t have come.’…If I was him, I’d be pissed off.”
The photo of Thomas’s gesture has been making the rounds across the internet, and when ESPN posted it, Le’Veon Bell was quick to weigh in, commenting that he would “continue to be the ‘bad guy’ for ALL of us.” Other players have come to Thomas’s defense via social media, including his former teammate Richard Sherman. “Praying for my brother @Earl_Thomas. Most will never know the hard work and sacrifice daily that goes into playing this game. He will bounce back better than ever that’s who he is,” tweeted Sherman on Sunday night.To nobody’s surprise, this became a hot topic on every sports talk show. Yesterday on First Things First, Cris Carter reacted by saying “That was not a classy move,” and that there are plenty of other players in the same situation when it comes to their contracts. During Skip and Shannon Undisputed, Shannon Sharpe seemed to disagree more with Thomas getting in the game, rather than the gesture, saying that he should have never played the game and drawn out the contract negotiation progress.
Here’s the real kicker though fans: Seahawks head coach, Pete Carroll, has Thomas’s back on this one. He said yesterday morning during a radio interview that “he had it all just totally figured out and was as emotional as you can get…Give him a little slack. This is a very, very, difficult moment that most people wouldn’t understand what that was all about.” Would the fans take this with such stride the way Carroll did? We think so! While it’s easy to get upset over something like this – and understandable even – it shows a lot of character and leadership to not see something like that as a personal attack. The head coach is not the only person in charge of making contract decisions. At the end of the day, the coach is there for their players the same way players show up on game day for their coach.