July 13, 2011

James Harrison Blasts Goodell, Roethlisberger, Others: Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison calls NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a "crook and a puppet" in a new interview with Men's Journal. "If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it. I hate him and will never respect him." He also tells teammate Ben Roethlisberger, "Stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain’t that and you know it, man; you just get paid like he does," and he can't be fined because of the NFL lockout.

posted by rcade to football at 02:46 PM - 22 comments

What a tool. Another player with whom I wish the Steelers would cut ties. The Post-Gazette has some of the responses from the players, including Mendenhall who was also called out by Harrison. He's apparently okay with being called a fumbling machine because he "knows James" but I guess also because Harrison is right in that case.

posted by scully at 03:24 PM on July 13

Not happy that he said it, but he's pretty much right on the money with everything he said.

posted by bdaddy at 03:27 PM on July 13

Including the gay slur?

posted by yerfatma at 04:10 PM on July 13

The slur itself? No. The sentiment behind it and the man it was targeted against? Yup.

posted by bdaddy at 05:20 PM on July 13

What exactly was the gay slur? Not trying to be funny, just don't think the flag football quote rises to the level of a gay slur.

If you follow yerfatma's link to the bottom, it appears Harrison is already backpeddling a bit...the writer twisted his words.

posted by dviking at 05:37 PM on July 13

Steeler, Interrupted

posted by beaverboard at 05:41 PM on July 13

How can one be a puppet *and* a dictator? Unless, of course, Roger Goodell was once a member of the Meat Puppets and the Dictators.

posted by NoMich at 06:23 PM on July 13

He called him a f****t. The article linked to doesn't quote it but i read it in another blog.

posted by bdaddy at 07:31 PM on July 13

Harrison is the kind of moron writers love. Put a microphone in front of him and the stupid comments flow out of him. His agent must cringe any time he (Harrison) chooses to speak in public. Probably wishes he could play football like a machine, then have someone hit his "Off" switch until the following week's game.

posted by dyams at 08:30 PM on July 13

Unreal, can't believe he made those comments. I guess it is all Ben's fault for the SB, since Harrison did so much with 1 tackle the entire game, and there are rumors that Ben played the 2nd half with a concussion. What an absolute joke Harrison is. And that is not even getting into all the off the field comments, which are even more offensive.

This is getting to the point that if the hallowed Rooney family is really as great as everyone says, they'll cut this guy loose. Seriously, let him go. Someone else will pick him up, so they don't have to worry about him finding work.

posted by brainofdtrain at 08:55 PM on July 13

NoMich, I think Ms. Piggy comes pretty close to fulfilling both roles.

posted by apoch at 09:04 AM on July 14

What an absolute joke Harrison is

He's a character, but also the primary reason the Steelers won their last Superbowl. He is their most important player, and with the pass that was given to Rapistberger last year for deviant actions rather than just words I doubt he'll see anything more than a fine (if that).

posted by cixelsyd at 10:12 AM on July 14

He's a character, but also the primary reason the Steelers won their last Superbowl. He is their most important player

He is obviously a dominating player, but shooting off your mouth, bashing teammates, etc. does nothing but cause problems and ill-feelings. It's counterproductive, and the fact so many of these athletes can't figure this fact out only strengthens the stereotypical image of the stupid athlete. I agree with brainofdtrain that it may be a great time to part ways with Harrison while he still has the reputation of a great football player and they may be able to get value for him. Much more of this crap and his value with regards to what the Steelers can get for him will continue to drop.

posted by dyams at 10:20 AM on July 14

does nothing but cause problems and ill-feelings

In full agreement with you there, but sadly we are well past the era where professional sports franchises give any consideration to personal character issues.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:17 AM on July 14

He is obviously a dominating player, but shooting off your mouth, bashing teammates, etc. does nothing but cause problems and ill-feelings

the Steelers themselves don't seem to be having any hurt feelings. And this isn't anything new..I remember a video of Greg Lloyd on the sidelines cussing at that offense telling them essentially the same thing Harrison said about Ben and Mendenhall (don't turn the ball over)

He's a character, but also the primary reason the Steelers won their last Superbowl. He is their most important player, and with the pass that was given to Rapistberger last year for deviant actions rather than just words I doubt he'll see anything more than a fine (if that).

absolutely. The "joke" is 2 years off of a defensive MVP award..that's like saying you want to get rid of Manning. As you point out, he almost single-handedly WON their previous SB, and he played great even in this last SB..they double teamed him and ran 3 step drops mainly BECAUSE of him. To your last point, I can't see how he'd see any punishment on this...even $1, since he's not part of the NFL at the moment. If they try to do retroactive punishment to him (or any other NFL player) after they were locked out then that opens the NFL up for a huge lawsuit. They've been very careful to keep their hands completely off the players, so that HAS to extend to punishment as well.

posted by bdaddy at 11:20 AM on July 14

we are well past the era where professional sports franchises give any consideration to personal character issues.

See, all this time people spent bashing the Bengals, and it turns out that they were just ahead of the curve. Welcome to the party, Pittsburgh.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:33 AM on July 14

When a pro athlete acts like this, it just makes me think the person is deeply unhappy and bound to go completely off the rails at some point. There's nothing good that can come from insulting your teammates in a public forum, especially when your team is as good as the Steelers at present.

posted by rcade at 01:33 PM on July 14

In full agreement with you there, but sadly we are well past the era where professional sports franchises give any consideration to personal character issues.

I wouldn't make a blanket statement like that; for one, MLB cut Barry Bonds completely out of the game due to "character". Sean Avery was dumped from a hockey team for his actions. A number of teams have dealt or cut Terrell Owens and Randy Moss for the same reason.

Some franchises do not believe that character is important or are willing to offset it depending on their talent level, and as a result a lot of players get more than one chance to be a dick. The teams that cut them, though, are certainly giving consideration to personal character issues.

posted by dfleming at 02:23 PM on July 14

The Pats have done well managing character, getting quality contributions out of people who were problematic elsewhere. Moss, of course; but also Dillon, Bryan Cox, etc.

And they were gone as soon as they weren't needed, could no longer contribute as expected or acted up.

In Harrison's case, I'm not sure it's a "he should know better than to say that..." type of situation. It may be more of a clinical behavioral issue.

posted by beaverboard at 02:54 PM on July 14

MLB cut Barry Bonds completely out of the game due to "character".

*cough*commissionerorderedcollusion*cough*

posted by grum@work at 03:51 PM on July 14

MLB cut Barry Bonds completely out of the game due to "character"

Wait a minute! I thought Bonds wasn't being blackballed ..??

posted by BornIcon at 09:04 AM on July 15

For the sake of balance to this post, here is a follow up article on ESPN where Harrison somewhat apologises for his comments about his teammates and for the gay slur. Still no love for Goodell.

posted by scully at 09:10 AM on July 15

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.