Ben and Alan Appleby are among a number of people charged with entering the field of play at full time in the Black Cats' 3-0 win over Everton on Wednesday.
The pair told the Echo that “emotion got the better of us”, but that neither meant any harm to anyone.
Many people commenting on the story on-line were sympathetic, but others felt the pair should be punished.
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Here is a selection of the reaction:
"It's completely bonkers. Recognise for what it is, euphoria at staying up relegating your rivals in the process. It's a snapshot in what's wrong in this country today. Politically correct nonsense gone mad. For heaven's sake it's the last home game of the season and tradition. It's criminalising football supporters-wouldn't do it to those very nice chaps in rugby eh!" - superk
"So let me get this straight. In a moment of euphoria, a few lads ran on the pitch to celebrate? They broke the rule of not entering a football pitch. So are the courts banning Burnley, Middlesbrough, etc. fans and punishing all previous events where the same has happened?" Marcus Black
"There was a full blown pitch invasion at Boro . It's hardly worthy of any ban. I like the idea of community service starting with litter wn the road:picking after the game." Thing Fish
"Over the top .I seem to remember boro supporters all over the pitch when they got promoted and not a whisper." ozzyal
"It used to be a tradition that we all ran onto the pitch at the end of the season. I certainly did and jumped around a bit at Roker Park. I know things are different now, but it seems a bit harsh to ban them. Give them a slap on the wrist." I Gatti Neri
"Couple of dafty young lads who meant no harm and got a bit excited after watching their team get nearly relegated. Get them to put some money in the foundation of light and give them a warning!" Fat Macker
"I think a ban would be a bit rough, they seem like genuine fans. I'd just make them clean the toilets after each home game next season." Ferret balls
"These two are clearly not malicious but that's not the point. Everyone should know the law on this these days and it is leniency towards twits like this that encourages people. It's not only against the law but it ruins these occasions for thousands of other people and also sours their reputation in the eyes of the world. It is selfish and unforgivable." Canis Lupus
"What idiots they are. I'm sure they had no intention of causing any harm. Fine them I and Ban them for a few years. Then leave it up to the club if they want to let them back in." Pigs do fly
"Why go over the top ? No harm was done and none was intended . Put them on a warning about future behaviour and leave it at that." VauxSpirit
"Their punishment should be that they are made to go and watch all home games for the Mags next season." Kiwi Black Cat
"These two young men are obviously die hard SAFC fans and it appears they genuinely meant no harm. As they say, they let their passion get the better of them. They are also two idiots. There are very good safety reasons why fans should not go onto the pitch and we don't want to go back to the days of fences around the pitch.I think a life ban would be very harsh but I do think they need a substantial ban that would make them and any others sit up and think twice in future about invading the field of play." What would Shack do 54
"Throw the book at them. They deserve it." Mick Themackem
"Ban them all for life, it's because of morons like these that fences were erected back in the 70's/80's and everyone knows how that turned out." davylad
"Judge ye not lest you be judged!" Passerbuy