James Harrison Does His Best To Defuse Tension Between Himself And The NFL By Calling Goodell A ‘Crook’
I’ll be honest, I’m pretty surprised that the NFL is still taking the unsanctioned reports (which themselves were essentially glorified leaks) from Al-Jazeera America that accused a number of players for using Performance Enhancing Drugs seriously. I mean, for one, this has been going on since December. For another, the guy who made some of the initial comments regarding inside knowledge of NFL player doping, Charlie Sly, has since recanted his statement. Plus, despite all of this, the NFL cleared Peyton Manning with little to no investigation but they still feel the need to question the other players who were named just in case. A group of players that include Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, Mike Neal and James Harrison. On Monday, the NFL Players’ Association notified the organizations that these players belong to, stating that if these players did not schedule an interview by August 25th, they would be facing suspension. Harrison, predictably, is a bit nettled by the whole situation.
“Harrison, who proposed to meet with league investigators Aug. 30, couldn’t help himself when discussing the league’s dangling of potential discipline for failing to cooperate with an investigation into alleged performance-enhancing drug use.
“If it leads to the hands of that crook, I mean Roger Goodell, he can do whatever he wants,” said Harrison, who wants to broadcast his interview for transparency. “That’s just the collective bargaining agreement that the players signed [in 2011].””
“If it went to a longer situation and I got the suspension, the bigger outcome wasn’t really worth it,” Harrison said. “I wouldn’t be on the team. I’d hurt the team, hurt my teammates and coaches.”
The NFL has not formally accepted the interview request. Harrison said he assumes the talks will happen at the Steelers’ facility in Pittsburgh. The league is open to conducting interviews outside of its New York City office. Harrison said he expects the questions to be limited to the contents of the report and said he doesn’t know “whatever evidence they think they may have.”
Harrison, who called Goodell a “dictator,” “puppet” and other names in a 2011 Men’s Journal interview, originally said he wanted the commissioner to conduct the interview at Harrison’s house. He’ll have to settle for lunch with investigators, an experience he hopes goes viral.
“I’ve been prosecuted, persecuted in the media by them, for something I didn’t do,” Harrison said. “I don’t see why we couldn’t have the media there [at the interview], do it live.”
Personal opinions aside, this is arguably one of the worst looks on the face of the planet for Roger Goodell. If you’re trying to interview four separate players, three of whom are stars and two of whom are superstars, it is not good if you can’t even get these guys to not talk shit about you to national outlets. “Yeah, I mean, I’ll do it, but not out of respect for his grubby ass or the process. I’m just doing it because they told me that if I didn’t, I can’t play.” That’s not respect for you or the process. That’s just jumping through the necessary hoops to not lose your paycheck while simultaneously flipping off the person that is putting you through this hell. I mean, let’s be honest, does anybody like Roger Goodell? I can’t think of anyone that does. So maybe Harrison is onto something. Goodell’s a fucking weirdo. Would it be that much a stretch to think that he also has no idea what he’s doing?
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