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Harrison’s apology ultimately contains no real excuse

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Less than two days after Steelers linebacker James Harrison created a slow-news-day firestorm with a stream of controversial comments against Commissioner Roger Goodell, teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall, and others, Harrison has apologized for the remarks.

The apology came in a statement released on Facebook and linked on Twitter.  He apparently gave the statement initially to Josina Anderson of FOX 31 in Denver.

In so doing, Harrison offers no real excuse for his words.  Sure, he says that his words were “pulled out of a long conversation and the context was lost.”  And he brushed off the use of a gay slur toward Goodell as merely the utterance of a “slang word.”  (There are plenty of slang words that are also inherently offensive.)

But Harrison never says that he didn’t say what he said.

So he said it.  And it now remains to be seen whether and to what extent he faces consequences from the league, the team, his teammates, or the fans.

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76 Responses to “Harrison’s apology ultimately contains no real excuse”
  1. camcameronsucks says: Jul 14, 2011 9:52 PM

    still an idiot

  2. hobartbaker says: Jul 14, 2011 9:53 PM

    Ban the pig for life. Nothing else will suffice.

  3. waccoforflacco says: Jul 14, 2011 9:53 PM

    Just wait until his next penalty for a late or dirty hit and he tries to appeal it to Goodell.

    A 4 week suspension will do just fine.

  4. trbowman says: Jul 14, 2011 9:54 PM

    I did laugh at ESPN getting so offended over the hitman cover.

  5. ICDogg says: Jul 14, 2011 9:55 PM

    Not worth worrying about if you ask me…

  6. hobartbaker says: Jul 14, 2011 9:56 PM

    There is no ****ing excuse for James Harrison. Not much reason for the dope, either once he gets bounced out of the league.

  7. georgeanderson2 says: Jul 14, 2011 9:57 PM

    Roger is an anti- gay slur word

  8. bronconation7 says: Jul 14, 2011 9:59 PM

    You’re not, and never will be bigger than the shield James. You’re also not a very good role model nor teammate. You’re making the Ravens look classy. Let’s see what the Pittsburgh Bengals do about this.

  9. villagoo says: Jul 14, 2011 10:02 PM

    so now we are faulting men for actually owning up to their actions? he is a clown, but you’d be bashing him twice as hard if he gave you an excuse

  10. clk320cpe says: Jul 14, 2011 10:02 PM

    Good player…Dumb individual.

  11. vahawker says: Jul 14, 2011 10:02 PM

    He said what he said, but “in context” of what he said he didn’t really say what he said when he said it.

  12. link49 says: Jul 14, 2011 10:05 PM

    This guy is a pretender………..

  13. steelbydesign says: Jul 14, 2011 10:07 PM

    Why should he makes excuses? I’m a diehard steelers fan, and this seems really weird to me, but I’m not going to hate on Harrison b/c I don’t think this is as big a deal as this site is making it… I’m sure there will be words between Harrison and his teammates (I don’t care if Goodell has his feelings hurt).

    But he said what he said, any “excuses” he gave would be lame anyway, like saying it was taken out of context… How could “fumbling machine” or “not as good as Peyton Manning” be taken out of context?

    He said it, he apoligized, you’re mad he didn’t make some stupid reasoning so you can pick it apart… no more story here.

  14. greenmeattruck says: Jul 14, 2011 10:08 PM

    I have never been a fan of atheletes having things like twitter to express their thoughts. I like the analogy that it’s like giving a three year old matches because they’re bound to start a fire, it’s only a matter of time.
    But when an athelete is asked about his/her opinion, I have no problem with them expressing it and then refusing to make apologies for it.
    Aside from that, I love the way tis guy plays the game and wish more players would play like him.
    Just avoid playing the race card next time, James. It’s the move of a classless fool, no matter what race you are.

  15. captainwisdom8888 says: Jul 14, 2011 10:09 PM

    What a talented, stupid fool…

  16. sakatak says: Jul 14, 2011 10:12 PM

    Goodell should fine Harrison $25K for calling him a “slang word”.

  17. gimmeabruschi says: Jul 14, 2011 10:14 PM

    There never really is an excuse for just being a jerk, is there?

  18. sergeanthulka says: Jul 14, 2011 10:21 PM

    It’s the roids, see Romanoski, Alzado, et.al.

  19. packattack1967 says: Jul 14, 2011 10:23 PM

    Rooney needs to inflict a stern and decisive punishment (I think he will)

  20. melonnhead says: Jul 14, 2011 10:24 PM

    Team and fans, definitely not. In the team’s case, at least not until it becomes apparent that the league will do something, then they will step in and do something so they can claim moral high ground as was the case with Bam Morris. Anybody remember that? Morris was busted dead-to-rights with 8 pounds of weed and a gram of cocaine in March of ’96, the Steelers didn’t cut him until after they were able to trade for Bettis and after he pled guilty, but before the NFL suspended him. Donahoe said “we took a stand, we just don’t want that kind of people here”… several months after he was busted!

  21. thumper00 says: Jul 14, 2011 10:25 PM

    I bet you the commish(goodell) has not lost one second of sleep wondering if any EMPLOYEE in the league doesn’t like him,players are self centered,spoiled, over sized ego’s and did I mention OVERPAID……..I hope the owners don’t give in to these spoiled children……

  22. lonedutchman says: Jul 14, 2011 10:29 PM

    Go James

    Signed Jeff ..

    Ps can I please comeback

  23. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Jul 14, 2011 10:32 PM

    I don’t buy for a minute James Harrison’s ham-handed effort here at damage control and image rehabilitation. Read the full text of his interview with “Men’s Journal,” and then read his apology. You should be able to read what’s going on here with your eyes closed. Being a real man is not about posing with handguns, or grabbing a rattler bare-handed. It’s about owning up to what you say, instead of later back-pedaling with excuses or clarifications. It’s about standing up like a man, and taking your punishment (including NFL fines) like a man. Hopefully, his next punishment will include some tough love from the Steelers in the form of a one-game suspension after the lockout.

  24. drevilstolemymojito says: Jul 14, 2011 10:33 PM

    Apology: There is none. James doesn’t know what the word means.

    Excuse: Stupidity combined with a lack of frontal lobe influence moderating your actions. (He may have lead with his helmet a few too many times).

    Out of context: You mean he was writing it down on those “word paper” things he was carrying?

  25. monkeyjuice313 says: Jul 14, 2011 10:47 PM

    James Harrison is the friend in your group that runs his mouth without thinking. You get tired of it so instead of confronting him you roll your eyes. He is the Human Eye Roll!

  26. goraiders25 says: Jul 14, 2011 10:49 PM

    I freak’n love James Harrison, dude is hilarious hahahaha. I don’t like Godell either & the fines were BS hahahahaha, used a gay slur lol. Fav player, don’t care.

  27. cornellsteelers says: Jul 14, 2011 10:55 PM

    Wait, I thought making excuses was bad?

  28. laxer37 says: Jul 14, 2011 10:57 PM

    Steeler great Greg Lloyd used to wear a t-shirt that read “I wasn’t hired for my disposition”.

    Like Lloyd, James Harrison is a nasty SOB, he knows it, and he makes no appologies for it.

  29. ninerswilldominatelikebefore says: Jul 14, 2011 11:00 PM

    black ball his ass from the nfl..sick of him already!

  30. bearsbulls34 says: Jul 14, 2011 11:06 PM

    He’s not stupid, he’s just fickle, paranoid, and incredibly selfish.

  31. impeachgoodell says: Jul 14, 2011 11:07 PM

    He said what he said. I dont get how an apology is going to make it better.
    Does anyone really believe an “apology” would be sincere.
    Better to say – “I said it in the heat of the moment”

    I am really tired of athletes (or their agents) back tracking after they make stupid comments and then trying to prove they really didnt mean it.
    Be a man and say “I said what I said and I will deal with the consequences”

  32. TxGrown says: Jul 14, 2011 11:16 PM

    You see! Those hits in which he led with his head have an effect.

  33. Deb says: Jul 14, 2011 11:25 PM

    Mike, he apologized for to the gay community for using that term. I’m still angry with him about all of this. But I believe him that this was just one of a string of things he was calling Goodell and don’t think he had it in his head to attack gays.

    Some of the racist posts about James–particularly the ones presuming that he’s a mindless Neanderthal–have been as offensive as his comments. The man is not stupid or inarticulate. If he were, I’d be quicker to give him a pass. Instead, he seems to have become too caught up in his image as the take-no-prisoners defender–just as Roethlisberger became caught up in being Big Ben. Suspension for the Ravens game should help bring him back to earth. And this entire episode should remind players that reporters are not their friends.

  34. timpuzzle says: Jul 14, 2011 11:29 PM

    Is it just me, or does James Harrison look just like Kunta Kinte from Roots?

  35. realitypolice says: Jul 14, 2011 11:30 PM

    villagoo says:
    Jul 14, 2011 10:02 PM
    so now we are faulting men for actually owning up to their actions? he is a clown, but you’d be bashing him twice as hard if he gave you an excuse
    ==================
    How is saying “the context was lost”, which is crazy person speak for “my words were taken out of context”, owning up to their actions?

  36. trbowman says: Jul 14, 2011 11:31 PM

    “I’m a diehard steelers fan”

    Which means you can’t see this without the black & gold glasses on.

  37. 10of14 says: Jul 14, 2011 11:34 PM

    One tackle in the same Super Bowl that has him dissing the efforts of his teammates…give me a break Nancy Boy. If you are going to talk trash, then have more tackles than my fat butt could have in the big game. Idiot!

  38. geefan1 says: Jul 14, 2011 11:52 PM

    Dude is like a trained seal. You stick a microphone in front of his face and noises come out of his mouth. It doesn’t mean there’s any intelligent thought involved. Just throw him a halibut and move on.

  39. halftermguv says: Jul 15, 2011 12:12 AM

    Man what a bunch of schmucks and one sided hypocrites calling for banning Harrison.

    As long as Stabbin’ Ray Lewis and Michael Vick are in the league and featured in NFL advertising then these critics need to shut up…morons.

  40. Nevis says: Jul 15, 2011 12:33 AM

    Let me guess….his Mens Journal interview was “hacked”, right?

  41. hobartbaker says: Jul 15, 2011 12:40 AM

    His actions are inexcusable, indefensible, incomprehensible, incoherant, inflammatory, and completely frigging insane.

    That is the bottom line, the guy is not all there. Never has been, never will be. Any appearance of normalcy is an act. Crazy violent, and dangerous.

    Out of the league. Forever. And a day if they can add that on.

  42. dave1961 says: Jul 15, 2011 1:15 AM

    Should James Harrison be suspended for his comments. No way and I am a Cleveland fan. I encourage Mr. Harrison to tell the world that his teammates suck, because we agree with him. Also, we in Cleveland encourage James Harrison to exercise his freedom of speech against teammates, other nfl players and the commish.

    Care to comment on Hines Ward… James? Can you tell us where Ben hide his terrible towel with that DNA on it….. much appreciated if you could shed some light on that situation…. Wink…Wink… God I hope Rashard, Ben, Hines and Harrison all go to a bar for some drinks and let Hines drive them all home ….lol

  43. polishkingski says: Jul 15, 2011 1:21 AM

    why is it that debs responses get posted and others like me always complain because our`rs do not? hello….?…..can i have another pain pill please?

  44. enuggs says: Jul 15, 2011 1:22 AM

    half the talent and half the mouth of Joey Porter. The steelers have rolled from linebacker to linebacker without losing a step. Getting rid of Harrison is no big deal. He seems to not be able to tackle the 87.5% of the human body that’s regarded as a legal hit anyways. Either he needs glasses or he’s ignorant. I’m going to roll with the latter after the latest fiasco.

  45. raiduhdude says: Jul 15, 2011 3:15 AM

    Pretty sure he’ll wish he never said those words about the commish when he’s begging for an appeal…

  46. jcdavey2011 says: Jul 15, 2011 3:17 AM

    i think his and wards hits are overblown, but the guy clearly isn’t too smart

    hopefully rooney punishes him

  47. dumbaseinstien says: Jul 15, 2011 3:22 AM

    He said the truth. Those that disagree are either blind, biased or stupid…or, a combination of 2 or more of the 3.

  48. danrooneyii says: Jul 15, 2011 5:01 AM

    Delusional PFT poster front:
    “Ban him for life. He’s on roids. If not roids, HGH. Dirty player. Helmet to helmet is illegal look at the Drew Brees malicious attack. He’s dumb. Clay Matthews 4 lyfe.”

    What they’re really thinking:
    “100 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 6 FF and 2 INTs as an OLB? Wow wish this guy was on my team.”

  49. tfbuckfutter says: Jul 15, 2011 5:55 AM

    I wonder how he’d react if I called him the n-word and then just explained it was “slang”.

  50. deenice810 says: Jul 15, 2011 6:11 AM

    Another athlete suffering from foot in mouth disease. Whatever happened to plain old common. This guy is a certified nut.

  51. 1historian says: Jul 15, 2011 6:36 AM

    I read about the 1st 2 or three comments and they ALL condemned the dude.

    Folks – he is a professional football player, one of the best in the last few years at his position. Pro football, for which you are all starting to drool at the mouth with the (hoped-for) end of the walkout just around the corner, is a game for people like Harrison.

    And how many of you are getting ready to pay some darn good money to sit in the stands and yell stupid remarks at him? (From the safety of the stands of course)

    But at least you didn’t call him insensitive. That is some consolation at least.

  52. 1historian says: Jul 15, 2011 6:41 AM

    Gays all say they just want to be like us, etc.

    Then when somebody uses a no-no word it’s the ‘gay community’.

    FYI – I am insensitive and proud of it and after I send this I’m taking my Labrador retriever, whom I love and who loves me, to daycare.

    So there

  53. ravensj5 says: Jul 15, 2011 7:05 AM

    Does anyone really believe he wrote any of this? The guy can barely form a sentence when speaking and then I am supposed to believe he crafted this statement?

  54. Steeler's Will says: Jul 15, 2011 7:14 AM

    waccoforflacco says:Jul 14, 2011 9:53 PM

    “A 4 week suspension will do just fine.”

    ———————

    LOL I’m sure it would ;-)

  55. patstrustee says: Jul 15, 2011 7:31 AM

    At what point, exactly, does posting a message on facebook equate to an apology? Please.

  56. grpatriot says: Jul 15, 2011 7:34 AM

    Code of Conduct Policy means what???
    The new CBA is close and the apologies start to flow? Convenient coincidence? Is it possible James is like a kid caught raiding the cookie jar?

    The Steelers need to regain control of their Team. Somebody better step up and be a leader!
    Rooney, Tomlin somebody. Ward is out….Ben?
    Mendenhaul, nah. Woodley possibly.

  57. Steeler's Will says: Jul 15, 2011 7:35 AM

    So several Raven fans would like to see Harrison sit out week 1. Huh. Well whatya know about that?

    A lot of those early predictions starting to roll in too, just like last year:

    “Steelers 8-8 at best! Bengals WILL take the division!!” (no kidding, cincyalldaway said this last summer!)
    “4-0 under Batch, Ben never starts a game!!”
    “Steelers are falling apart! ”

    So tell me. What catcalls will the crowd try this year, to get inside their heads? Cause “She said NO” worked like a charm, didn’t it? lolfootball fans ;-)

  58. 2ndaryinsanity says: Jul 15, 2011 8:06 AM

    Everyone-including idiots-is entitled to their own opinions. However, in the REAL world, there are consequences…most people would be disciplined for verbally attacking co-workers/bosses. But the biggest issue is Harrison trying to excuse using a gay slur by calling it “slang.” I can think of several slang words for a black person…but that doesn’t mean it’s okay for me to say them. How would Harrison like it if someone (a white person) called him a n##%*?? Then told him not to be offended because it’s “just a slang word?” I doubt that would go over very well. I wish the reporter would release the interview tapes…then we could see that poor James Harrison was a victim of things being “taken out of context.”

  59. jpb12 says: Jul 15, 2011 8:19 AM

    ‘Roid rage. Guy gets cut four times, and then magically turns into a super hero?

  60. jw731 says: Jul 15, 2011 8:31 AM

    This reminds me of when Charles Barkley said he was misquoted….In his autobiography.

  61. cliverush says: Jul 15, 2011 8:32 AM

    The Steelers should show some integrity and trade this guy. Any player who shows this level of disrespect toward his team mates will be a constant sore in the locker room. The class shown by the insulted parties is for the public. The real resentment will be played out in the season.

  62. steelmill says: Jul 15, 2011 8:39 AM

    I see the lame “Ratbird” fans are out in force praying for a suspension because they know they have no chance against us week 1. While us Steeler fans “want” to beat the Ratbirds with all their starters on the field.

  63. dspyank2k11 says: Jul 15, 2011 8:40 AM

    Agent (watching Harrison on the TV): Ok James is going on T.V. for an interview…

    James: We are doing all we can to stay in shape, the lockout isnt stopping us from doing our jobs

    Agent: this is going well, hes saying the right things!

    James: *starts shaking – eye starts twitching*

    Agent: oh no… no… whats he doing?

    James: G@YS! Goodell! I Hate People! Ben!! Big Big Ben! *tears a chair in two and eats a child onlooker*

    Agent: Hunnie, Im going to the desert. If I dont come home, Im dead.

  64. Kave Krew says: Jul 15, 2011 8:50 AM

    Thanks for making the last week of the lockout fun Steeler Nation…….

  65. steeelfann says: Jul 15, 2011 9:01 AM

    Dang, I love Harrison, just as I loved Lloyd.

    Just like I loved Lambert.

  66. fcs34 says: Jul 15, 2011 9:38 AM

    They should just but him and Big Ben in a bathroom stall together and let them work it out.

  67. themage78 says: Jul 15, 2011 9:41 AM

    steelbydesign says: Jul 14, 2011 10:07 PM

    Why should he makes excuses? I’m a diehard steelers fan, and this seems really weird to me, but I’m not going to hate on Harrison b/c I don’t think this is as big a deal as this site is making it… I’m sure there will be words between Harrison and his teammates (I don’t care if Goodell has his feelings hurt).

    But he said what he said, any “excuses” he gave would be lame anyway, like saying it was taken out of context… How could “fumbling machine” or “not as good as Peyton Manning” be taken out of context?

    He said it, he apoligized, you’re mad he didn’t make some stupid reasoning so you can pick it apart… no more story here.

    Just like all the steeler homers out there. Don’t care if your guy calls his teammates dogs for not winning, don’t care if your QB did some really shady $h!t in a shady bar, or the fact your team TRIES to injure people.

    YEah stay classy pittsburgh. Hope you guys become the new browns, and do horrible for years to come.

  68. Nevis says: Jul 15, 2011 9:49 AM

    “He said the truth. Those that disagree are either blind, biased or stupid…or, a combination of 2 or more of the 3.”

    Speaking the “truth” (which btw, is subjective on many fronts) does not equate to being without discretion.

    Speaking the “truth” without factoring cause and effect, or context, does not make one wise.

    The only truth here is that James Harrison is an idiot.

  69. 8man says: Jul 15, 2011 9:56 AM

    If any Cardinal even bumps his mangy ass out of bounds on that fumble return the Steelers lose that Super Bowl.

    There are no words to adequately describe my visceral hatred for this franchise. I think I’ll re-watch the Packers beating their asses tonight.

  70. gpack22 says: Jul 15, 2011 10:37 AM

    These Steelers are becoming prima donas by the day. Ocho and TO will have nothing on these guys pretty soon. Harrison….shut your trap and ride the coat tails of Dick Lebeau. Without him you are in no position to even speak.

  71. steelerfannomatterwhat says: Jul 15, 2011 11:42 AM

    With sickos out there kidnapping little boys and keeping body parts in their freezers, are we really upset at James Harrison’s comments? Why is our society so pussified that when an overpaid football player makes stupid…but 100% true…comments, we all get so offended and upset? It is not like he was drunk driving or having sex in the bathroom of a seedy nightclub with a hobag right?

  72. fleebusmcgee says: Jul 15, 2011 12:50 PM

    Not providing an excuse is the first step in making an apology. If you provide an excuse when you apologize, you are not fully apologizing. All that said, I don’t believe Harris is sorry.

  73. Deb says: Jul 15, 2011 2:32 PM

    @polishkingski …

    They’ve pulled five of my posts from this thread alone … and counting. But they won’t let me say so.

  74. Deb says: Jul 15, 2011 2:40 PM

    Thank you.

  75. steelchuck123 says: Jul 15, 2011 2:55 PM

    8man says:
    Jul 15, 2011 9:56 AM
    If any Cardinal even bumps his mangy ass out of bounds on that fumble return the Steelers lose that Super Bowl.

    There are no words to adequately describe my visceral hatred for this franchise. I think I’ll re-watch the Packers beating their asses tonight.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Ok meathead… First of all, it was an interception that was returned for a TD, and second…it was the longest return for a TD in a SuperBowl. With that being said, who is your team? The Cardinals or the Packers…?? Or are you hiding as a “neutral” fan just to put your 2 cents in the mix? It should be mandatory to list your team to see if you have the right to throw rocks and ignorant comments…

  76. Deb says: Jul 15, 2011 3:58 PM

    @steelchuck123 …

    8man has been posting his tireless hatred of the Steelers for at least as long as I’ve been around. Whatever his team, it’s safe to say they have fewer significant wins than Pittsburgh. And it’s hilarious how a six-point game somehow has morphed into “beating their asses.” If I were that sore a loser, I wouldn’t admit it.

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