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Friday, October 9, 2009
Raider defender flagged for ... thanking God?
David White, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, October 5, 2009
(10-05) 04:00 PDT Houston -- This season is going so bad, the Raiders can't even thank God on church day when things actually go right.
Just ask cornerback Chris Johnson, who was flagged for unsportsmanlike, umm, religious activity during Sunday's 29-6 loss to the Texans.
The foul: He fell on bended knee and lifted his hands toward the unretracted roof after his end-zone interception just before halftime. The back judge deemed it excessive celebrating and threw his flag.
"I'm just getting on my knees giving my respect to God," Johnson said. "I don't see how that's a personal foul or anything like that.
"We're in Houston, they made the call, so I had to honor it."
If there ever was a play to rejoice over, it was this one: an intercepted fade-route pass in front of Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson.
Chris Johnson gave the same thanks after his three other career interceptions, all last season, and was not flagged.
The Raiders get penalized enough doing things like pulling hair and hitting late. When they get busted for faith-based behavior, that's when you know it's going to be a long day.
"That was ridiculous," said defensive end Greg Ellis, who runs a team Bible study on Mondays. "Hey man, that guy is a Christian man. He's just thanking his God for blessing him with a play."
This article appeared on page B - 11 of the San Francisco Chronicle