In the immediate aftermath from Super Bowl XLVII, one of the biggest topics of conversation was the melee that occurred during the second quarter. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw an interception to Baltimore safety Ed Reed, and once the play ended, there was a skirmish between several players from both teams.

At one point, Ravens cornerback Cary Williams was on the ground and shoved by a 49ers player. Williams' initial reaction was to stand up and shove the closest person to him, which accidentally happened to be an official. Because of that situation, people have been arguing back and forth about whether or not Williams should have been ejected from the game, including Brian Noe and Bruce Jacobs.

Let's take a look at the cases being made by both parties, starting with Brian Noe:

The debate rages on about Baltimore Ravens defensive back Cary Williams. Some fans think that he should’ve been thrown out of Super Bowl XLVII for accidentally shoving an official in the 2nd quarter when a fight broke out. Others, like me, think that a player would have to do something egregious and outrageous to be thrown out of the Super Bowl.

"It was a situation where I didn't see who the heck I pushed. Those guys kicked my helmet off, took my helmet off man, it's just a part of the process. Whatever," Williams said. "It's a reaction. You see teammates out there getting hit late, guys pulling guys after the whistle. My helmet came off, I couldn't barely see, and I just reacted. It is what it is."

The man obviously didn’t intentionally push an official. He had his helmet ripped off by San Francisco 49ers fullback Bruce Miller. He just got up off the ground and pushed the first object closest to him, which happened to be an official. Big freakin' deal. Believe it or not, the official is still breathing. He wasn’t killed on the spot by Williams’ thunder shove.

It was a fight. Things happen unintentionally. Thankfully, the officials are smart enough to realize this, unlike the hacks that let rules make their mind up for them. Intent changes the equation. Williams wasn’t intending to do harm or break the rules. In this instance, it means that he shouldn’t be thrown out.

Should Cary Williams have been flagged for accidentally pushing an official? Absolutely. Intent doesn’t absolve everything. Should Cary Williams have been thrown out for unintentionally pushing an official? Absolutely, positively, not.

Meanwhile, the stance of Bruce Jacobs is quite the opposite:

The rule in question here is very simple: you CAN NOT get physical with a referee! It is a black and white rule, there is no gray area. There are times where players can’t even TALK to a referee in a certain manner, let alone TOUCH them!

Williams’ statement is a pathetic, nonsensical excuse, and in this kind of situation it doesn’t matter. It is cut and dry, you can’t touch an official – period, the end!

Who do you believe has the correct stance on this issue - Noe or Jacobs? Cast your vote in our poll below and feel free to leave comments defending your stance!

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