James Harrison Says Something That Actually Surprises Us
James Harrison, of course, likes to hit people very hard on the football field, which makes him a really good linebacker, but also prone to fines from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. As you also know, Harrison can be an angry man, which fuels his considerable football skills, but also occasionally fuels angry rants - like the one he unleashed, with particular fury aimed Goodell's way, to Men's Journal recently. Harrison called Goodell every name in the book, and while he tried to distance himself from some of his comments, he made no such effort to refute anything he was quoted as saying about Goodell, and seemed largely unrepentant.
Until now, that is. With football back in action, Harrison has now taken the step of apologizing for his comments about Goodell - albeit not exactly apologizing directly to the commissioner:
"The interview that I did and the comments that I made about Roger Goodell were inappropriate, at the least. They were way out of line, and I was speaking out of anger and frustration at the time. Any comments that I made that offended anyone, I apologize."
Still a couple qualifications in there (and of course, the general apology rather than one specifically to Goodell), but we're just surprised Harrison even took things this far. Someone must have (wisely, we'd say) gotten in his ear, whether it was one of the Rooneys or Mike Tomlin, and told him he'd better do something more to make amends for what he'd said - lest the commissioner have even more reason to fine, or even potentially suspend, him. As good as the Steelers are, as much as their success isn't entirely dependent on one player, Harrison's someone they can ill afford to lose.
And really, by not directly apologizing to Goodell, Harrison's handled this about as honestly as possible while still showing some level of contrition. Let's face it: there's almost nothing that can happen for Harrison to like the commissioner. Acting like everything's all square between the two of them now wouldn't be the James Harrison we've come to know. But the comments he made were way, way beyond the pale, and he had to say something to try and begin to make up for it. He's now done that - and in doing so, he's done a bit more than we'd have otherwise expected.
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