I’ve supported James Harrison through a lot of harassment at the hands of the NFL.
I’ve thought that Roger Goodell has come down way too hard on Harrison for his style of play, which has led to numerous fines from Goodell. I’ve thought that Harrison has been unfairly portrayed as a dirty player and reckless. I’ve though that he’s been a whipping boy for Goodell and used as an example of what happens to players for reckless behavior.
However, if Goodell and the NFL decide to fine him this time, I wouldn’t have an issue with it at all.
Harrison went all sorts of crazy in the latest edition of Men’s Journal magazine. In his highly candid interview entitled “Confessions Of An NFL Hit Man” Harrison blacked out on Roger Goodell as well as various teammates of his and the perception that his fines are racially driven.
Here are just a few excerpts:
If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it (on Goodell)
Fumble machine (on Rashard Mendenhall)
Hey, at least throw a pick on their side of the field instead of asking the D to bail you out again. Or hand the ball off and stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain’t that and you know it, man; you just get paid like he does (on Ben Roethlisberger)
I slammed Vince Young on his head and paid five grand, but just touched Drew Brees and that was 20… You think black players don’t see this s— and lose all respect for Goodell? (On race being a factor in his fines)
He also called Goodell such nice words as “Crook,” Devil,” “Stupid,” “Puppet,” “Dictator,” and a anti-gay slur.
He also called NFL analysts and former New England Patriots Tedy Brushi and Rodney Harrison “Clowns,” and said that Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing “Juiced out of his mind.”
Damn damn, damn James (yeah I just went Andre 3000 on you).
There are certain ways to exert your frustration and anguish towards your boss, but the way Harrison went about it was completely unacceptable.
Harrison was way off base in his comments, all of them. Do I believe that Goodell has been a bit of a pawn for the owners in this entire lockout? Of course, they pay him. However, there are ways of letting your opinion of him be well known.
Calling him a racial slur and a bevy of childish words isn’t one of them.
Harrison should understand that this is a business just as much as anyone. I understand his frustration with the fines and the lockout, but to get in a national publication and go in on the man that runs your league was completely wrong.
Harrison’s complaints and accusations were unwarranted honestly. The idea that his fines were racially charged would make sense if the hit on Drew Brees wasn’t his 4th infraction of the season while the hit on Young was his first. Goodell has been just as hard on white players as he has on black players (see Roethlisberger). It doesn’t matter what race you are if you mess up under his watch on or off the field then you will be punished.
Speaking of Roethlisberger, why go at him or Mendenhall now?
Where was this talk two years ago when Roethlisberger’s mind was off in lala land? Why talk now after he took responsibility for the loss in Dallas and has seemed to make a change in the locker room? Plus why go at Mendenhall’s issues on the field when he carried the offense at times last year?
Why not take responsibility for not stopping the Packers in the Super Bowl, you know like defenses are supposed to do? Where was the criticism of poor secondary play, pass coverage, and lack of pressure on Aaron Rodgers? Were we all not watching the same game James?
(Side note: you know what I really hate about these articles? It’s that the guy talking smack always retracts what he says. If you meant it James stand by it. Don’t get all shook once your QB calls you up and asks what’s up. Be the guy holding two guns in the picture at the intro of the story and stand by what you said. )
This is the last thing that the Steelers needed this offseason with the Mendenhall tweets about Osama Bin Laden and Hines Ward’s DUI arrest. Harrison’s comments come at a bad time and further hurt the image of what the Steelers stand for.
If I’m Dan Rooney I’m at my wits end with these constant off the field issues and I would start reaching into some pockets.
In the case of Harrison I think Goodell will reach into his once the new CBA is done and the NFL is operational once again. He, once again, has to make an example of Harrison and let players know that there are ways of letting your opinions be known and there are ways of going about them.
Hopefully Harrison learns this lesson and puts better thought into his words so next time he wont come off looking childish and nasty.
I can’t even defend him for that.