Posted: July 16, 2011 in NFL

Loud noises, that’s exactly what athletes sound like these days when I hear them complaining about their league, their coach, their GM, their owner, or essentially anyone who they owe their livelihood to.

Here’s a fresh thought, how about we treat you like every other employee on the planet and if you tell your boss to go screw himself, you can go find a new place of work?

This week in an incredibly ill-advised piece in Men’s Journal, Pittsburgh Steelers all-world linebacker James Harrison felt he was going to exercise his right to free speech. I have no problem with that, as a writer on this blog I exercise that right and responsibility
all the time.

However, the manner in which you exercise that right is the line that separates your freedom, and being a moronic ranting spoiled brat. Seriously, did anyone read those quotes and feel sorry for him in the slightest about his $100,000 in fines last year? It made me wish they were $1,000,000.

Now I am a fan of a different team than the Steelers, however I have no ill-will towards the organization. The Steelers are amongst the highest class organizations in professional sports. They pay their players, they don’t trade much and like to use the guys they drafted
as they draft incredibly well for their systems.

But this is a problem, no matter how you spell it. This rant reminds me of when someone has had too much to drink at a party and starts running their mouth off about all the things they are scared to say while sobre. Once the cats are let out of the bag, it’s very tough to get them back in.

That is exactly what I feel James Harrison has done, he has changed the dynamic of a very successful, and proud locker room.

Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall came out the other day and said that they have spoken with Harrison. Mendenhall earlier had tweeted on his account that that was just James being James, and followed it up with “”And lastly, I don’t have a problem with what @jharrison9292 said because I know him”

Really? You know him? Because if a friend or teammate of mine said that about me I would tear him apart. I don’t care if he got the AP defensive player of the year award in 2008 or has been in two super bowls, GOOD teammates don’t do that.

Mendenhall did have a costly fumble in the super bowl, agreed. However the completely fair and correct counter argument is why didn’t the defense bail him out and stop Green Bay from scoring more points?

It’s a see-saw battle that personally I do not see anyone winning. It benefits no one to bring these things up in an interview in the first place. Had James expressed feelings with Mendenhall

and said “Rashard, I love you like a brother but man you’re killing us with these fumbles!” He could reply back with “well you’re killing us by not getting tackles or sacks (1 TACK and 0 SACK in super bowl for Harrison) but we’ll get it done” then all would be fine.

Harrison addressed the issues in the worst manner possible, on a public stage for all to see and judge.

Now let’s address the issue of his apology where he tries to save himself by saying: “but the handful of words that were used and heavily publicized yesterday were pulled out of a long conversation and the context was lost.”

I’m not a journalist, nor am I a Pulitzer Prize award winner, but saying someone is a fumble machine, or that you wouldn’t urinate on your commissioner to save his life, or that he’s a crook and the devil, have zero context to begin with so how can they be taken out of it?

The fact that he is harbouring these ill thoughts and anger towards an employer is not a good situation for anyone involved. It shows an utter lack of respect for his boss who provides him with a source of great income, and it’s just a lack of respect for a person. I consider the commissioner a boss in the same breath as the onwer’s, because he works for and with the owner’s to help operate the league and keep it profitable. As such he deserves as much, if not more respect than the owner’s.

I am actually getting more outraged the more that I type, as I cannot believe that I’m commenting on such heinous statements. He must feel that he is above the law here, or that he is bigger than the NFL, which I can assure you Mr. Harrison, you are certainly

You are an employee, remember when everyone says this is a business? Well you sir are an employee, below the owners, the GMs and way below the commissioner, so you better pick up a dictionary and memorize the definition of respect.

Mr. Harrison is free to speak his mind, but at what point will the fans and his teammates have enough? He’s a great charcater for TV, but I for one can wait to find his mute button.


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