Raider Fans Testify Against Celebration Penalty

By Joe Kukura
|  Thursday, Oct 8, 2009  |  Updated 1:30 PM PDT
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Raider Fans Testify Against Celebration Penalty

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Oakland Raiders' fans still feel that Chris Johnson was unfairly penalized for a religious end zone celebration.

Hell hath no fury like Oakland Raiders fans who think they've been jobbed by the referees.

Days after Raider Chris Johnson was penalized for excessive celebration for his "praise the Lord" maneuver after an end zone interception, Raider fans continue to preach that their team was unfairly persecuted by the penalty.

Johnson himself defended the move, telling the Chronicle, "I'm just getting on my knees giving my respect to God. I don't see how that's a personal foul or anything like that."

And Raiders' fans aren't giving up the fight. They're quoting the very words of NFL Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira.

A Yardbarker blogger dug up a 2008 clip of Pereira explaining the excessive celebration penalty guidelines on the NFL Network. "The whole issue is, you can't go to the ground -- on your knees, or with your hand, or anything," Pereira explains on the segment. "There's only one time that you're going to be allowed to go on your knee after you score like this, and that's when you want to praise the Lord. If you do that, then I'm going to allow that, because I don't want to be struck by lightning."

You might want to stay indoors for the next couple days, Mike Pereira.

Outraged Yardbarker AlanaG smells a double-standard, saying, "If we accept this rule as Pereira explains it, then why was it not applied properly in Chris Johnson's case?"

The call did not affect the outcome of the game, and the NFL has not revisited the ruling this week. But Raider fans would still swear on a stack of Bibles that the referees have it out for their team. 

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is going to keep a couple feet of distance between himself and NFL Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira on the golf course.

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