Saints fan who snagged Bengals ball breaks his silence

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - The Saints fan who has been publicly criticized for catching the Bengals touchdown ball tossed in the stand during Sunday’s game is breaking his silence.

Tony Williams says he never planned to be at the center of controversy.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter talked to him about the interception that's getting national attention.

"First of all I would like to say to the people of New Orleans I really wasn't trying to put the city down and make the city look bad. I love this city," Tony Williams explained.

And this football enthusiast loves the Saints.

Tony Williams says he's been a season ticket holder since 1968.

The 70-years old has recently come under fire for "poor sportsmanship," after snagging a ball tossed into the stands Sunday at the Superdome.

Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham appeared to be targeting Christa Barrett, but Williams says the interception has made him out to be a villain.

"And he's really not a bad guy. He's a loving, caring husband, father, grandfather," wife Minnie Williams said.

"Everyone is saying I elbowed the lady but I really didn't I turned away from the lady," Tony Williams said.

He says he didn't steal the ball from Barrett nor did he physically move her out of the way.

Instead he says he used his body as a shield.

"It’s a free for all, something like with Mardi Gras. When a coconut is tossed or beads are tossed everybody goes for it," his wife added.

Williams says in his 46-years as a season ticket holder he's caught the ball three other times; and he couldn't have done it passively.

"Because if I would have been I wouldn't have gotten the ball, simple as that."

But he says he wasn't trying to hurt anyone.

He compares fans in the stand to revelers along a Mardi Gras parade route.

Everyone positions themselves to catch whatever is tossed their way.

"That’s what we do down there because we're all on the first row. We have a chance to get the ball. When it comes our way we jockey for the ball. That's it."

Trotter asked, "Do you remember her saying anything to you? She was pleading for me to give her the ball and I said no ma'am I’m keeping the ball," Williams replied.

He says this forth souvenir is for his grandson.

"He’s 8-years old and he plays football for Lakeview Park."

Williams went on to say that he is surprised and a "little hurt" by the harsh comments circulating.

Still he says doesn't regret a thing, and is non-apologetic because he doesn't think he did anything wrong.


  • MG

    You are a low life scum piece of trash. I hope you choke on the ball. Your lucky I wasn’t there-I would have knocked you across the stadium.

  • get a life people!

    Where is Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson on this one asking the man to do the right thing??? Oh yeah, there are in Ferguson!

  • uncletuna

    Punk is an embarrassment to the community and what has been wrong with the New Orleans the past fifty years…


    Did anyone on the coaching staff consider giving him a shot on the practice squad to show the D-backs
    how to actually take the ball away from the other team.

  • Me

    I equate this to snatching a baseball that a player is trying to toss to a kid. I would have a totally different opinion if he and another dude were jockeying for a ball tossed by a Saints player, but this was a Bengals player tossing a ball to a Bengals fan, and a WOMAN FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! Have some common courtesy! It is not the same as catching Mardi Gras beads, but then again this is one of New Orleans’ finest we’re dealing with. Counting my blessings I’m no longer living in that sorry excuse for a state.

  • Abe

    Mr. Tony Williams, the football was clearly not intended for you. You snatched what was meant for a lady. A gentleman, you are not. You are clearly an asshole.

  • craven

    this losers grandson another future thug …im sure gramps has skeletons in his closet too, probably his wife also ,oh well thely thing missing here is that asshole al sharpton

  • Art Guzman

    Douchebag…He knows the ball was target for Miss Barrett ..sorry he had to a minority….just another reason for White America to hate us….Being of Mexican decent, I know the struggle minorities have to go through, and her is an opportunity to do something right, but now….it’s all about me….another black eye, or in this case, another BACK GUY


    And there in lays the problem, “I didn’t THINK I did anything wrong”! Even now? How would he have felt if he watched someone do that to his daughter or wife? TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS PEOPLE!

  • Alan

    This guy is full of shit and has no manners at all. Karma I’d a bitch that’s why the Saints lost because of this guy.

  • Roger Land

    Poor grandson, if he ever brings the ball to school to show off, he will be made fun of and teased and picked on all because of his Grandfathers’ actions.

  • HoneyTree EvilEye

    This dude’s a pos. It’d be one thing if the ball was just tossed up, it wasn’t. He was tossing the ball to her and this guy just rammed her out of the way. He threw her elbow straight up at her face. The balls it takes to lie about something that there’s video of. I can’t believe he is even willing to show his face in public or that his wife isn’t ashamed. If I was his son and he tried to give that ball to my boy, I’d take it and then find then try to contact the woman but my son sure as hell wouldn’t be keeping it. The fact that he could finish sitting through the game, or be able to walk out of the stadium with his head held high and no problems. Sad.

  • Scott

    Why does he need that ball? It’s not like he can appreciate it for long……..He’s on the the 18th green with a one foot putt.

  • Sam R

    Bottom line is he KNEW that ball was for the lady and he took it from her …. STAY CLASSY SAINTS FANS … STAY CLASSY!

  • Bengal fan and white guy

    This guy did nothing wrong. It’s a football and who cares who he intercepted it from!!?? If Gresham signs a football for the Christian girl and her sis then he should sign one for the good Christian ole man and his grandson as well. 1968 season tickets were a long while ago and 4 footballs almost 50 years a fan is not many…but this girl shows up to 1 game and is where she is not supposed to be or really even allowed to be and oh poor sweet thing missed her ball and it is a media sensation Whoopti freaking do da!!! Wow!!!

    • Ottie

      It’s obviously something you wouldn’t understand. A real man is a true gentleman and doesn’t have to be bullish to get what he wants. To you it may mean nothing but that doesn’t mean it’s not important to the lady. I could care less if you’re black, white, red, or yellow, it’s a classless act and if it were another man standing there along side Mr. Williams, he’d never infringe on his personal space in hopes of getting a ball. If so, he may have that mustache as eyebrows after it’s all said and done. Just sayin from one white guy to another!

      • Gabe Horn

        Who gives a shit what gender the person is? Why is someone a first class citizen because they have a vagina? If it was two male fans nobody would give two fucks what happened.

    • Dina L

      She wasn’t in anyone’s seat, she was occupying the PUBLIC walkway along the railing. Anyone can go there for a brief period of time … like say to catch a ball that a player on YOUR team is throwing to YOU.
      Not buying for one second that you’re a Bengals fan; it’s quite obvious you’re a friend of this classless, nasty man.

    • KRGB

      I’m definitely black…and I’ve definitely never stolen anything. But I have worked hard, gotten an education on my own merits, and have a bachelor’s, master’s and a PhD. I’m sorry, I can’t relate to “still”, “stealing”, or “steel-ing” (especially that one, whatever it may be). Sorry to disrupt your stereotype. And, oh, guess what–there are more of us like me, too. SHUDDER!!

  • Alan

    I will bet that IF he gives the ball to his grandson, that even the grandson will have remorse over having possession of the ball and will donate it to a charity, if not find the lady Bengals fan and give it to her personally. A man like that fears death.

  • Don

    Why is race even being brought up as an issue? It has nothing to do with want happened. With at said, Mr. Williams is a complete jerk. Why would a aints fan want a ball scored by a team who just kicked their asses? If that where to happen in Cincy, the fan would never make it out of the stadium with the ball. We believe in morals and doing the right thing. Obviously Mr. Williams has none of either. The Aints should step in a pull his season tix until he does the right thing and returns the ball.

  • HL

    Stupid, STUPID old man. You’re nothing but a 70 yr old thug. You jumped in front of that young lady….very rude & apparently you have no manners. As for your wife, she’s a blind old bat, who’s also a worthless piece of trash.

  • Randino

    Wow, how did this become about race never thought of it once. Guess New Orleans is full of a bunch of Racist Fools

  • Barbara Snodgras

    I do not care what his reasoning is, it was obvious the ball was being tossed to the lady. It sure makes him a great roll model for that 8 year old grandchild!!!

  • Dina L

    Jackass. What does a Saints fan want with a touchdown ball from the other team?
    This is the same guy who knocks your little girl down to grab a throw the float rider was tossing at her.

  • CR Smith

    Sorry…he was a jerk for taking that ball, and the way he did it was even worse…very poor sportsmanship, clearly the player was tossing the ball to a fan of HIS team and he just jumped in and snatched it out of her hands…and he DID wrestle her for it, what is he talking about?!? SAD

  • James

    mister williams. you know DAMN GOOD AND WELL that a cincy player was tossing it to a Cincy fan
    you should be ashamed of yourself. and you DO deserve all the criticism that you are getting from people all over the world that have seen what you did
    Thank goodness for the Saints organization who gave the lady another ball,
    but its too bad that had to happen cuz that ball was not intended for you in the first place.
    you have already been called alot of names on here from other people and i would sure use them on you as well, but they have called you what you really are.

  • Nichole

    OMG this guy is an a$$! Someone should have knocked his old a$$ down and took the ball What a piece of crap! Disgusting!!

  • John Simpson

    What a freakin’ piece of SHIT! Fortunately, he only has a few more years on this earth, then we all know where he is going…. STRAIGHT TO HELL!

  • Rush Mountmore

    His daughter-in-law, Robin B. Williams in New Orleans (the mother of the alleged grandson) is on her Facebook page bragging to her friends how she has the ball in a glass case. Her friends are as pathetic as the old man. THey are all justifying and excusing it. Entitled to steal–the Williams family slogan.

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