The Seahawks Fan Who Caught the Jermaine Kearse Football Turned Down $20K, Says He’s Giving It Back (Pics)

jermaine kearse football gamewinning catch 2014 nfc championship game

After Jermaine Kearse caught the game-winning touchdown in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, the Seahawks wide receiver reached back and threw the ball as far into the stands as he possibly could. There, after bouncing four times, it hit 32-year-old Scott Shelton right in the chest. And unlike Packers tight end Brandon Bostick, he did not let it slip through his hands.

(Sorry, Brandon, I had to.)

So what is Shelton going to do with the Jermaine Kearse football? Sell it like a rational human being? Nope. He told KOMO 4 News in Seattle that he’s already turned down $20,000 for the thing, and that he’s decided instead to give it back to Kearse.

Don’t get me wrong, Shelton is holding out for tickets to the Super Bowl. And if Kearse can’t pull that off, he’ll definitely get the guy some great swag. Kearse already offered Shelton his game helmet signed by the entire team, plus his jersey. But turning down $20,000 is pretty crazy, especially when you’re an out of work father of two young children who will begin serving a seven-month prison sentence the day after Super Bowl XLIX.

Oh what, didn’t I mention that? Yeah, according to Shelton’s mom, the guy has had a “challenging life” and will begin serving a prison sentence for some unspecified legal infraction at 2pm on February 2nd. So you certainly couldn’t blame the guy for viewing this football as a gift from above, a chance to make sure his family is provided for while he is in prison.

Instead, Scott Shelton just wants to go see the Seahawks “whip New England” in the Super Bowl.

Obviously, it’s hard to truly judge a guy without knowing him. But that certainly hasn’t stopped anybody. On Facebook, people have had plenty of negative things to say about Shelton’s decision to reject the $20,000.  But plenty of others have come to Shelton’s defense—most notably his wife, Lisa Shelton:

scott shelton wife defends decision re jermaine kearse football 7 PM

Personally, while I respect the guy’s right to do whatever he wants, I am 100% against giving significant game balls back to athletes. They get paid—and I cannot stress this enough—MILLIONS OF DOLLARS to play sports. You don’t. However, you did pay some of your hard-earned money to watch them play, and the ball made it into your hands fair and square. It is yours. If they want it they can pay the going market value for it. But they have no right to guilt trip you into giving it back. Period.

What do you think?

jermaine kearse football game winning touchdown

Tags: crazy fans, jermaine kearse, NFL, NFL Playoffs, Seattle Seahawks,