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Pittsburgh Steelers James Harrison Plays The Race Card

I will have to say one thing about James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers. His loud mouth is a gift that keeps on giving. I read his so-called “apology.”

I am still amazed how his calling NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a “devil” and all those names were taken out of context. I loved how he said that his use of that “slang word” was not meant to hurt “gay people in anyway.”

Really James? As far as I know, the only way I know that word is used IS to hurt gay people. He goes on to make his non apology-apology to his teammates, and such. I am still amazed that he spent four days with Mr. Solotaroff of Men’s Journal for this interview, and all of a sudden, when the crap hits the fan, he starts backtracking and saying “everything is being taken out of context.” From “my twitter got hacked” to “I was misquoted.” to “It was out of context.”- does ANY celebrity own up to what they say online or in print anymore?

All that being said, in my previous blog on Harrison, I discussed many of of the excerpts in said Men’s Journal Magazine where he throws teammates Rashard Mendenhall, and Ben Roethlisberger under the bus, and cries about Spygate, and insults players such as Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi. However, there was something else he said in the article that really irked me. It was Harrison’s playing the race card. He basically implied that he was targeted because he was African American.

That just really annoyed me. I mean, really. I admit that racism exists everywhere, and sadly will never be eradicated. There is racism in the school systems, government, MLB, WWE, and even in the NFL I am sure, and heck, even I have been a victim of racial discrimination, but Mr. Harrison, I sincerely DOUBT that you have been a victim of racism by the NFL

Harrison specifically said from the article that the Steelers were targeted because they have“too much force, too much swag, and are predominantly black.” Has Mr. Harrison been hit in the head too many times? Most NFL teams are “predominantly black.” I mean, I am puzzled with what Harrison is trying to prove. If you look at a current NFL roster of just about all 32 teams, you can see that just about all of them are predominantly black. The only couple of teams that may not fit the mold may be the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots, and even those teams have a good number of blacks, so I don’t get Harrison’s point. He is being silly, and just throwing the race card just to throw it.

Another thing he said was “I slammed Vince Young on his head and paid five grand, but just touched Drew Brees and that was 20. You think black players don’t see this shit and lose all respect for Goodell?” James, James, James, again, this does NOT have anything to do with race. The NFL is going to protect Drew Brees, because he is a top QB. Brees is a Super Bowl MVP, and is going to get more protection. Brees is a marquee QB and he is going to get the benefit of the refs and the NFL. You do make a point as to why certain QBs get more protection than others (including your own QB), but I don’t think you got fined more for the Brees hit because he was white. I don’t think you speak for all black players either, honestly.

What I found interesting about all this is that I listened to a podcast from today’s Dan Patrick show and Rich Eisen from NFL Network was the guest and they were discussing James Harrison’s racial allegations. Eisen revealed some very interesting tidbits. Eisen started the interview by calling Harrison’s allegations “beyond the pale.” Eisen then tells Dan Patrick when there is a play in a game that could be considered a rules violation, the tape of it goes to the desk of Ray Anderson who is black.

Well, Mr. Anderson has to call Merton Hanks who is also black to decide whether the player needs to be fined or suspended. Commissioner Goodell makes his decision, and the decision is subject to appeal, and the gentlemen who handle that are Art Shell, and Ted Cotrell, who are both former coaches, and were both appointed by the NFL and the then player’s union which is currently a trade association.

The whole irony of all this is that James Harrison’s current team is the Pittsburgh Steelers, owned by the Rooney family. Dan Rooney, who is the owner, and who is the Ambassador to Ireland, created what’s known as the ROONEY RULE. The Rooney rule, established in 2003, states that a minority must be interviewed for openings in NFL coaching and senior football operation opportunities.

I mean, Dan Rooney is one of the people responsible for Goodell being the commissioner, and was the man who told Goodell he had the job. Goodell has done things to STRENGTHEN the Rooney Rule. Look, I am not a huge fan of the commissioner, but I seriously doubt that Harrison is being targeted due to race. This just plain stupid.

I am tired of people, be them athletes, or ordinary people yelling and screaming “race” every time something doesn’t go their way. It is an insult to people who are REAL victims of discrimination and who have REAL cases of discrimination. In the article, James Harrison does make some valid points about the arbitrary, inconsistent and illogical enforcement of the rules against illegal hits on defensive players.What UNDERMINES his credibility is his racially tinged comments, and his name calling, and other reckless comments. It is unfortunate, because I find Harrison to be a very intelligent, and articulate person.

Like Rodney Harrison said of James Harrison on the Dan Patrick show, the day prior, “James Harrison needs to shut up, and play ball.” Rodney also said, “He [James Harrison] needs to grow up.” I could not agree more.

Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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