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Saints-Panthers fight: Harper not sorry, Rivera “glad it happened”

Steve Smith,  Roman Harper

Players and officials try to separate Carolina Panthers’ Steve Smith (89) and New Orleans Saints’ Roman Harper (41) after Smith’s touchdown during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)


A fight broke out during Sunday’s Saints-Panthers game, and even with some time to cool off and reflect, neither side feels bad about it.

Saints defensive back Roman Harper started the whole thing by shoving Panthers receiver Steve Smith in the end zone after Smith scored a touchdown, and Harper said he wouldn’t apologize for that.

“I just was like, ‘You’re not going to walk and showboat in our end zone like that,’” Harper said. “I just lost it, and maybe I shouldn’t have hit him but I did. I’m not going to apologize for what I did.”

The entire Panthers offense got mixed up in the ensuing brawl, and Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he’s pleased his players didn’t turn the other cheek.

“You’re coming into our place and you’re going to come after one of our guys? We’re not going to take it,” Rivera said. “That’s just the way it is. This is our house. You come in here, you’re not going to shove us around. I’m glad it happened the way it did. People need to know: We’re going to hit you back.”

So no one seems to be very sorry for the brawl. We’ll see if they’re sorry when the fine letters arrive.