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Friday, July 15, 2011

James Harrison Apologizes

In case you missed it or by some chance it gets
taken down by the time you get a chance to read
it, below is a copy of the apology James Harrison
posted. Enjoy, I didn't.

I’ll start by offering my apologies for some of
the words that I said during the four days in
May that Men’s Journal was invited to my house to
discuss what the NFL has recently been portraying
as their attempts at ‘player safety’ rules and
regulations, and to cover my everyday workout routine.

I did make comments about my teammates when I was
talking about the emotional Super Bowl loss, but the
handful of words that were used and heavily publicized
yesterday were pulled out of a long conversation and
the context was lost. Obviously, I would never say that
it was all Ben’s or Rashard’s fault that we lost the
Super Bowl. That would be ridiculous. Both Ben and Rashard
are great players and great teammates. Clearly the entire
team bears responsibility for the loss, me included.
It was a team effort and a team loss. My teammates know me
well, and hopefully understand the things I said were not
meant to accuse them of the loss. We all have discussed
several things that went wrong in the Super Bowl since
that day. What I do apologize for and take full
responsibility for is for speaking in such a candid
manner to someone outside the team.

I also need to make clear that the comment about Roger
Goodell was not intended to be derogatory against gay
people in any way. It was careless use of a slang word
and I apologize to all who were offended by the remark.
I am not a homophobic bigot, and I would never advocate
intolerance of gay people.

As far as the photo that was shown on air yesterday,
collecting guns is a hobby of mine, and I advocate the
responsible use of firearms. I believe in the right to
bear arms. I like to go to the shooting range. I like to
hunt. I like to fish. I could just as easily have posed
with my fishing poles but it obviously wouldn’t be an
interesting picture for the magazine. I am not promoting
gun violence by posing for that photo. There are also other
photos in the magazine story that were not shown on air
yesterday – including me with my sons, with my mom and
as a kid.

Unfortunately, the above items and other comments have
detracted from the original purpose of the story – a
position I have been advocating for some time now. If
player safety is the NFL’s main concern, as they say it
is, they are not going about it in an effective manner.
There’s nothing about extending the season or issuing
exorbitant fines on defensive players that makes any shift
toward the prevention of injury to players.

I believe that the league may have been feeling increasing
pressure about injuries and concussions last year, and that
they panicked and put rules in place that weren’t fully
thought out. I’m not advocating more flags and fines, I’m
just saying that the current rules are not completely fair,
and I don’t believe in the way that the league is handling
their position as overseer of the NFL and the well-being
of its players.

As far as the character and reputation hits I may suffer
as a result of my comments in the article, I’ll take those
hits and more if it brings increased attention to the
re-examination and installation of rules and regulations
that would create a REAL impact on player safety.

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