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James Harrison: All-Pro Jackass



Not many people have generated the same intense on field production in the NFL than Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison. A Super Bowl hero when the Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals.

Harrison has also been known as a target of fines in recent seasons levied by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Mostly fined for his dangerous hits, Harrison has never been quiet in expressing his displeasure with the NFL’s course of action.

While no one person can truly deny the gifted talent Harrison is on the field many can question his statements and behavior off the field. More specifically his comments in a recent interview in the August interview of Men’s Journal where Harrison holds no punches in attacking Goodell, the NFL and even his Steelers teammates.

Harrison started his tirade targeting Roger Goodell:

“If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it,” Harrison told the magazine. “I hate him and will never respect him.”

His other descriptions of the commissioner include an anti-gay slur, “stupid,” “puppet” and “dictator.”

“I slammed Vince Young on his head and paid five grand, but just touchedDrew Brees and that was 20,” Harrison said. “You think black players don’t see this s— and lose all respect for Goodell?”

Harrison also criticizes other NFL execs, Patriots-turned-commentators Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi (“clowns”), Houston’s Brian Cushing (“juiced out of his mind”).

He even rips teammates Rashard Mendenhall (“fumble machine”) and Ben Roethlisberger for their performances in the Super Bowl loss.

“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,” he said, referring to Roethlisberger’s two interceptions in the game.

While Harrison may feel he has some valid points with his statements they are horribly unintelligent and showcase an issue more with the person Harrison seems to be portraying as opposed to exposing true issues with the league.

Regardless of your stance on the way the NFL conducts itself or your opinion of it’s rules there is much to be up in arms about with Harrison’s comments.

His tirade against Goodell is hate spewed and even possesses an anti-gay slur. The “self-righteous victim” Harrison is trying to portray is false. He comes across as a racist, homophobic, hate filled crybaby rather than someone truly trying to make change in the league for the better.

Some of his ideas fo improving the NFL safety policy definitely are worth noting and worth some consideration. But any intelligent comment or opinion Harrison has is devalued and overshadowed by his overwhelming idiocy.

Harrison suggests the real way to prevent head injuries is to shorten the season to 14 games, start offseason workouts later and trim the length of training camp so “we’re not bangin’ heads so much in August; that’s where the brain trauma comes from.”

Not a bad point at all.

But who can take a hateful, racist, homophobic finger pointer seriously?

What’s sad is Harrison runs the risk of tarnishing himself. Instead of  letting his on field play speak for itself (which is GREAT), Harrison is content showing himself in this light.

Harrison’s comments send one direct message. If you want to get your point across cry unfairness, spew hate, throw your teammates under the bus and throw in a homophobic slur. Because insulting and degrading others really tacks on an exclamation point and added emphasis on your self-righteous comments.

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Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.