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James Harrison won’t let his sons accept participation trophies

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Anyone who’s ever watched Steelers linebacker James Harrison play football knows that he’s an intense competitor who wants to win at all costs. So perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that Harrison is passing along that intense competitiveness to his sons.

Harrison took to social media this weekend to lash out at the idea that his sons should receive participation trophies simply for playing sports, saying that when he found out his sons were given such trophies, he demanded that they be sent back. Harrison believes that a trophy should be something you earn by being the best, not something you receive just for trying.

“I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies!” Harrison wrote. “While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy.”

Harrison concluded with the hashtag, “Harrison Family Values.” In James Harrison’s household, there’s no credit given for just showing up. If you want a trophy, you’d better win.

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185 Responses to “James Harrison won’t let his sons accept participation trophies”
  1. davebarnes21 says: Aug 16, 2015 9:20 AM

    Save the NFL, Fire Roger Goodell.

  2. countmahdrof says: Aug 16, 2015 9:22 AM

    Good man.

  3. buccaboo says: Aug 16, 2015 9:23 AM

    In this age of entitlement, this is a breath of fresh air. Good for Mr. Harrison

  4. rogobrothers says: Aug 16, 2015 9:23 AM

    Finally, a Steeler you can respect.

  5. thepftpoetinreverse says: Aug 16, 2015 9:24 AM

    There around about 30 million housewives who are writing letters right now.

  6. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonAndNeverToReturn says: Aug 16, 2015 9:27 AM

    So, he refused to take a check for his dismal performance in that WC beatdown? LOL.

  7. minnesotablizzard says: Aug 16, 2015 9:27 AM

    I love this. Our society is growing soooo soft. The future looks bleak

  8. packerfaninsandiego says: Aug 16, 2015 9:27 AM

    I agree with Harrison. Too many spoiled kids in todays society and it’s because of “wimpy” parents.

  9. karmathaitch says: Aug 16, 2015 9:28 AM

    Reminds me of an Sons of Anarchy episode.

  10. packfntk says: Aug 16, 2015 9:28 AM

    His boys will grow to hate him.

  11. randy8123 says: Aug 16, 2015 9:28 AM

    Perhaps the first time I’ve ever agreed with James Harrison.

  12. rukiddingme2014 says: Aug 16, 2015 9:29 AM

    Best advice he has ever given.

  13. thejuddstir says: Aug 16, 2015 9:29 AM

    Society needs more people with Harrison’s attitude about entitleents!!

  14. bettis3636 says: Aug 16, 2015 9:29 AM

    You can def see his point here… agree or not this man came from the bottom and fought for all he has earned. Nothing wrong with raising your children the same way.

  15. projectshadow316 says: Aug 16, 2015 9:30 AM

    He’s absolutely right. Christopher Titus did a great bit on “Participation Trophies” a few years ago.

  16. facebook.com/joesimmonscomic AKA Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says: Aug 16, 2015 9:31 AM

    Preach!

  17. audio2sell says: Aug 16, 2015 9:31 AM

    Good for him.

    The world has become to PC.

  18. Donald Whitaker says: Aug 16, 2015 9:31 AM

    I agree with him. No participation trophies for my kids either.

  19. noose18 says: Aug 16, 2015 9:32 AM

    Love it.

  20. redrew says: Aug 16, 2015 9:32 AM

    Harrison is just inviting a Wells investigation sanctioned by Goodell and backed by AFC North owners not named Rooney

  21. audio2sell says: Aug 16, 2015 9:32 AM

    Like the Colts participation trophy banner.

  22. muley5 says: Aug 16, 2015 9:33 AM

    Good for you Mr. Harrison!

  23. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Aug 16, 2015 9:39 AM

    He’s right.

    Kids today believe they should be rewarded with everything they want simply for trying. The entire concept of actually needing to be better than other people who want the same thing as you in order to get it is lost on them.

    It’s why college graduates think it’s appropriate to camp out in parks because they didn’t immediately get the job they were promised. Or why so many young people think it’s a good idea to elect someone like Bernie Sanders president.

  24. keiselsbeard says: Aug 16, 2015 9:39 AM

    Too bad the rest of this disaster of a society doesn’t feel the same way. America’s gone WAY too soft.

  25. freedomofspeechyesway says: Aug 16, 2015 9:39 AM

    I never met a really succesful person who loved the idea of participation trophies.

  26. thebifforacle says: Aug 16, 2015 9:41 AM

    Hopefully, he will now back up his mouth by signing a Paid For Winning Only contract.

  27. shogunassasin30 says: Aug 16, 2015 9:43 AM

    That’s right! Good man Mr Harrison raising men instead of entitled little sissies

  28. justcallingit says: Aug 16, 2015 9:43 AM

    Exactly. If parents allow their kids to become wimps, then their kids will become wimpy parents who will raise their own kids to become wimps. Hence a future nation of wimps!

  29. raiderinva says: Aug 16, 2015 9:45 AM

    I agree with James Harrison, they should not make 9th place ribbons.

    The essential key to James earning two Super Bowl rings was his competitive drive and being out of place to intercept Kurt Warner. His son’s will be better for this lesson as they progress through life.

  30. valentino8100 says: Aug 16, 2015 9:49 AM

    Looks like the wrong black man won the last 2 elections.

  31. cwwgk says: Aug 16, 2015 9:52 AM

    Amen.

  32. smokehouse56 says: Aug 16, 2015 9:53 AM

    Many people also believe in not keeping score in a game because it might embarrass the losers. To these people there are no losers. Just wait until they get out in the real world they will find out there are many losers. It will come as a total shock to the pampered kid. I don’t even like the various mercy rules which ends a game after the scoring difference become large. Like baseball, it could be you’re down by 13 runs after 4 innings, the game is than stopped.

  33. weepingjebus says: Aug 16, 2015 9:53 AM

    The fact he even has to make a statement about this is alarming. We’re raising our kids to be lazy failures even as we expect them to pay for dozens of entitlement programs. Something will give.

  34. Wineshard says: Aug 16, 2015 9:56 AM

    Goodell just fined Harrison $100,000.

  35. paulieorkid says: Aug 16, 2015 9:58 AM

    Boom. It’s *about time* that there’s been some kind of backlash in this country for “Participation Trophies.”

    James actually gave Participation Trophies” more credit than they deserve. The “awardees” need not even try their best. All they need to do is just show up on game day. That’s it. And some even get trophies for no-showing.

    It’s also great that the vast majority of PFT junkies also view Participation Trophies for the lame, coddling, politically correct, facades that they are. They’ve demeaned what it means to “win” a trophy.

    Kudos to James!

  36. atthemurph says: Aug 16, 2015 9:58 AM

    I run a charity golf outing every year and as a joke we always award the Victory in Participation award to that years losing team.

    Consists of four bottles of Belvidere.

  37. deathonwings410 says: Aug 16, 2015 9:59 AM

    I like this guy.

    Signed,

    A Ravens fan.

  38. bassplucker says: Aug 16, 2015 10:01 AM

    Love it. That’s sound parenting there.

  39. swineflooo says: Aug 16, 2015 10:02 AM

    As crazy as he is. He is soooo right about this

  40. smitty113 says: Aug 16, 2015 10:03 AM

    Good man. While I agree with him 100% maybe if they gave a participation trophy some of the frauds who refuse to work and collect my tax dollars would work.

  41. aplopez2414 says: Aug 16, 2015 10:10 AM

    Its about time that fathers teach their sons how to be real men instead of being wimpy cry babies because they didn’t get a trophy or reward. Earn it ! It won’t hurt they’re self esteem or damage them for life. It may make them work harder and make them a more responsible, respectable, productive person in the real world.
    Time to quit coddeling them from the big bad world and teach them that in life nothing’s fair or ever just given to them but that every thing has to be earned including respect. Now Johnny go get you an orange slice and juice box then get back into the game and earn it !!!

  42. sbaltimore says: Aug 16, 2015 10:14 AM

    Good thing he doesn’t play for the Colts or he’d be ripping down that banner they plan to put up. 🙂

  43. rayguyhof says: Aug 16, 2015 10:15 AM

    I have never cared that much for Harrison…until now.

  44. runtheball says: Aug 16, 2015 10:15 AM

    The problem I have with this is that those trophy’s are from Charlie Batch’s Best of the Batch foundation. The foundation is supposed to be helping children in distressed communities, not the children of millionaire linebackers.

  45. footballluv says: Aug 16, 2015 10:18 AM

    I agree, but my five year old plays hockey. He got a participation trophy. He was pretty stoked. Really guys, its just of punch of little dudes on skates chasing a puck like a pack of dogs. There’s a point where you don’t hand out participation trophies but I don’t see why its a big deal if your kids under the age of 9

  46. GO FOR TWO SPORTS says: Aug 16, 2015 10:20 AM

    Okay.. I Think The Harrirson family needs a Reality Show Quickly

  47. justcallingit says: Aug 16, 2015 10:21 AM

    Soon there will be a second Lombardi trophy going to the losers in the SB.

  48. ketch20too says: Aug 16, 2015 10:22 AM

    My son hated those trophies and would just throw them in his closet until clean out day when they were thrown away. The medals and trophies he WON ended up on his dresser.

    Raising a society of highly sensitive, easily offended P C babies. Good for James for trying to raise men.

  49. bonniebengal says: Aug 16, 2015 10:24 AM

    Harrison Family Values. Could be a good reality show.

  50. steeltroll says: Aug 16, 2015 10:25 AM

    Plenty of parents don’t believe in undeserved rewards. The wussification of the country is greatly exaggerated IMO. The helicopter parent trend has already peaked and is receding. Chill out, people.

  51. bstngrdn says: Aug 16, 2015 10:26 AM

    Giving these kind of trophies helps no one. It just teaches children that all they have to do is show up to be rewarded. Furthermore it is a disincentive for children trying to strive to excel. That’s the wrong lesson and unfortunately a lot of children raised this way only find this out when they get into the real world and have to compete. Good for you Mr. Harrison.

  52. newjerseygiants says: Aug 16, 2015 10:32 AM

    Thumbs up to that. Great player…most likely a great father too.

  53. faulkana says: Aug 16, 2015 10:33 AM

    He sent back two trophies and then felt the need to Tweet about it!
    What a man!

  54. lionfish57 says: Aug 16, 2015 10:35 AM

    Amen again!

  55. bonniebengal says: Aug 16, 2015 10:39 AM

    Then they go out into the world expecting 6 figure jobs for “doing their best” and are shocked when they learn they have to compete.

  56. fanofsportsman says: Aug 16, 2015 10:41 AM

    Wonder what he thinks of Brady being a cheater, bet that goes against his family values too!

  57. padronebradfather says: Aug 16, 2015 10:42 AM

    I never thought I’d say this but: God bless you James Harrison. It’s like my Sunday school teachers and parents have always said: there’s good in everyone. We FINALLY found James Harrison’s good!

  58. bksk07 says: Aug 16, 2015 10:44 AM

    Kids know the difference between them and winning trophies though.

  59. Great Caesar's Ghost says: Aug 16, 2015 10:45 AM

    One man with common sense. America is circling the drain.

  60. dobberdubinsky says: Aug 16, 2015 11:00 AM

    Everyone’s a winner!! Just kidding, participation ribbons are for str8 up losers. Atta boy James Harrison!

  61. faulkana says: Aug 16, 2015 11:01 AM

    Respect Women-Beaters?

  62. teddyisbetterthanyourqb says: Aug 16, 2015 11:04 AM

    I agree with him.

  63. citizenstrange says: Aug 16, 2015 11:07 AM

    The kids know it is a “Participation” trophy. They don’t think it’s a “Team MVP” or anything like that.

    I don’t see the harm in it.

  64. tellmeaboutitbaby says: Aug 16, 2015 11:11 AM

    The trophys don’t matter one way or another – if that is what you think makes you a good or bad parent then YOU are the problem not the kids.

  65. shadywarrior says: Aug 16, 2015 11:17 AM

    Harrison for POTUS! THIS is the kind of guy that I want running things!

  66. upstaterules says: Aug 16, 2015 11:19 AM

    James, you rock!!

  67. 12stabler2branch21 says: Aug 16, 2015 11:19 AM

    When you lose your a loser, and losing hurts. Anyone can lose, but only hard work, sacrifice, and coming together as a team can you win.

  68. daytondragon says: Aug 16, 2015 11:22 AM

    Good for James. He like millions of Americans are soooo tired of all the P.C. crap. Whatever you want in life, you have to earn it.

  69. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 16, 2015 11:22 AM

    Thumbs up to Mr. Harrison. Let’s make America great again!

  70. jamaltimore says: Aug 16, 2015 11:22 AM

    child services will probably now stalk his house. Preach on Mr. Harrison. truer words could not be spoken.

  71. jmc8888 says: Aug 16, 2015 11:23 AM

    There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Besides right now we have an entire generation brought up to feel like they are winners… until Clinton’s (remember he repealed Glass-Steagall and anyone with a brain KNEW a depression would come if they did that.. even CHILDREN in HIGH SCHOOL in the mid nineties knew), Bush’s and Obama’s Wall Street and Warmongery destroyed the economy, and now they are finding out they can’t get a job (or anything besides a part time burger flipper job) and that in today’s world a college degree is basically a participation trophy.

    Life is rough and it isn’t fair, and it’s getting less fair all the time. The disparity between how we raise our kids in a bubble, and what goes on in the real world, which is falling apart, has never been bigger.

    I fully support what Harrison is doing. If I had kids I don’t think I would rip it out of their hands or force them to give it back, just explain the situation, but if Harrison wants to be stern like that, it’s his right to.

  72. mswravens says: Aug 16, 2015 11:24 AM

    I LOVE THIS!!! I think he is spot on!!!

    I wouldn’t be giving him any Parent of the Year Honors given his past indiscretions as a parent…but on this point he is RIGHT ON!

  73. lightninglucci says: Aug 16, 2015 11:27 AM

    We’ve always called these Bobby Brady trophies:

    There’s that one episode where Bobby kept trying to win a trophy, but couldn’t, so his parents gave him one for trying. And he was happy. The End.

  74. pftfan says: Aug 16, 2015 11:28 AM

    Getting trophies for participation sets a bad example for his boys.

    However, getting arrested for slapping your wife in front of his boys and breaking her phone when she tried to dial 911 is A-OK, right guys??

  75. psunick says: Aug 16, 2015 11:31 AM

    There’s your running mate, Mr Trump!

  76. rosstuckershair says: Aug 16, 2015 11:31 AM

    A deserved kick in the face to the soccer moms and the wussification of America., and rightly so. How is a kid going to learn to compete in life. There are no participation trophies in the real world. Just wins and losses. Protecting a kid from failure deems he will fail later in life.

  77. mrmcdougle says: Aug 16, 2015 11:34 AM

    Trophies, in general, are silly. You’re playing a game. If you want to go total tough guy (then preach on twitter), you don’t even accept a trophy when you win. You don’t need some plastic cup/ring/necklace sitting on your shelf to prove that you scored more points than another team at catch and tackle.

    I seems silly to make a scene over it (as Harrison did), if they want to give a trophy, politely accept it…then throw it out when you get home. Let the other kids have their moment (if it means something to them) and don’t let your public views devalue their experience. That’s not uptight PC, that’s being a kind person (which is more important).

    The overboard, anti-PC, mob gets a little tiresome. There’s a difference between living life by your own code, and feeling the need to pat yourself on the back and tell everyone that you’re living life by your own code. You don’t have to vocally support causes you don’t agree with. You can remain silent, when your life isn’t threatened (this being a perfect case). It takes more of a man do do this, than what he did. #harrisonfamilydramaqueen

  78. all4patriots says: Aug 16, 2015 11:36 AM

    so un-Coltish!

  79. sasattack says: Aug 16, 2015 11:38 AM

    Nowadays in gym class, kids jump rope without, ya know, the rope.

  80. greg2geez says: Aug 16, 2015 11:40 AM

    I have raised my kids to understand that trophies are meaningless, for effort, victory or otherwise; that participation and best effort are their own reward; and when someone does, makes or gives you something nice, even if you don’t want it, you accept it with gratitude, humility and thanks.
    You may not be entitled to a reward for effort but somebody else’s thoughtfulness is entitled to your appreciation, not disrespect. #realmenarenotprimadonnas

  81. nflexecutivesconstantlylie says: Aug 16, 2015 11:46 AM

    But how will the trophy companies make money?

    One Championship trophy for the winning team?

    That’s it?

  82. mistrezzrachael says: Aug 16, 2015 11:48 AM

    davebarnes21 says:
    Aug 16, 2015 9:20 AM
    Save the NFL, Fire Roger Goodell.

    WONDER HOW the owners feel being lied to by Goodell?when will their eyes open up????

    Give Steelers admin credit…they were one of few teams to NOT want Goddell as commie BACK YEARS AGO.

  83. bullcharger says: Aug 16, 2015 11:50 AM

    I don’t think participation trophies represent anything other than acknowledging participation, which isn’t so bad if you run a marathon for example. Nothing wrong with teaching kids the fact that trying your best isn’t always enough. That’s a good thing as long as it doesn’t make kids afraid to try things they can’t win at right away.

  84. titimium says: Aug 16, 2015 11:51 AM

    As they said in the classic movie Stripes, “Lighten Up Francis “

  85. cwjim says: Aug 16, 2015 11:52 AM

    When I was a kid, the first place team got a big trophy. The second place team got a medium trophy, and the third place team got a small trophy. All teams got a plaque. You should get something for trying, just not the big trophy.

  86. phinfan says: Aug 16, 2015 11:52 AM

    Yeah tell new england that

  87. sabatimus says: Aug 16, 2015 11:53 AM

    I agree with one part of Harrison’s principles: he wants his kids to be strong and not coddled. I get that. But if he teaches his kids that “sometimes your best is not enough”, he’s likely creating fictional inadequacies in them, which can in turn lead to perfectionism–which can destroy people.

  88. allseeingone says: Aug 16, 2015 11:54 AM

    It’s about time people start taking a stand against the liberals plan to wimp-ify America.

  89. ajas95 says: Aug 16, 2015 11:56 AM

    I get the feeling James Harrison and Christopher Walken would be fast friends.

  90. witchrunner says: Aug 16, 2015 11:56 AM

    greg2geez: This isn’t a matter of someONE giving something. This is a matter of an institutionalized attitude. I’ve received ugly gifts before and have accepted them with graciousness. But, that is not what Rodney is talking about. There is no “thoughtfulness” in these participation awards. As you say, no award is necessary for participating. It’s the idea that anyone thinks that just participating is worthy of an award. It’s part of the dumbing down of society.

    Kids are smarter than you think. They know when they’ve “earned” something. Rodney’s no only teaching his kids, but the adults involved too!

  91. bullcharger says: Aug 16, 2015 11:57 AM

    rosstuckershair says:
    Aug 16, 2015 11:31 AM
    A deserved kick in the face to the soccer moms and the wussification of America., and rightly so. How is a kid going to learn to compete in life. There are no participation trophies in the real world. Just wins and losses. Protecting a kid from failure deems he will fail later in life.

    ———-

    Don’t get why you think soccer moms deserve a kick in the face. In general, they are the reason their kids get to play sports at all.

  92. nopepper123 says: Aug 16, 2015 11:58 AM

    Ya, that’s what we strive for. More disappointed kids. Cause it’s so important to make sure little kids are unhappy. This line of thinking also creates those over obsessive coaches to have to win at all costs in order to boost their own egos. I say it hurts nobody to give the kids the trophies. I can safely say that the trophy I received when I was 10 for participation has not misled me into understanding the realities of life. On this issue, Harrison is ridiculous.

  93. dickjagger says: Aug 16, 2015 11:59 AM

    What a jerk! Sounds like Kreese (sweep the leg) from Karate kid. At least he got to keep playing football after beating and threatening his baby mamma, unlike Rice.

  94. RE LEE says: Aug 16, 2015 12:06 PM

    Spoken like a real American. That’s the ruthless value that built this country. We should be a country of winners and not a country of whiners and appeasers. Our youths should be taught that value again and the fight against the pervasive and systematic corruption of our youth starts at home with the parents. It is a relief to know that there are still parents who are cognizant of the stealth emasculation of our kids.

    In his field, I think Harrison is one of the few voices that wants Brady to play when they go against the Patriots because winning when the best is taken out to level the playing field is not really winning. It’s hollow. It’s tantamount to that participation trophy that he despised.

  95. 69goatboy says: Aug 16, 2015 12:11 PM

    Good for him!

    I’m guessing we have a lot of the “other” kind of parents here judging by the number of thumb downs the supportive comments received.

  96. nsideindy says: Aug 16, 2015 12:15 PM

    freedomofspeechyesway says:
    Aug 16, 2015 9:39 AM

    I never met a really succesful person who loved the idea of participation trophies.

    ——————————————————

    Never? Open your eyes to what’s around you.

  97. agc99 says: Aug 16, 2015 12:17 PM

    Harrison’s right. Everything needs to be earned.

  98. whispersd says: Aug 16, 2015 12:19 PM

    t’s why college graduates think it’s appropriate to camp out in parks because they didn’t immediately get the job they were promised. Or why so many young people think it’s a good idea to elect someone like Bernie Sanders president.

    —-

    Really idiotic. One has nothing to do with the other.

  99. sfctyler says: Aug 16, 2015 12:20 PM

    It is about time somebody stands up for their parental rights. Society tries to covertly dictate to the parents how to raise our kids and if we do not take the position that James Harrison stated, and our kids end up in prison, then we are worthless parents. We need to toughen up in this country and quit teaching these kids to be lazy and soft because these are the same people who are one day going to be fighting for this country and let me tell you, you can bet your bottom dollar that China, Iran, or North Korea do not raise their kids to be soft. I am just saying; food for thought.

    PS: Harrison, watch out for the Department of Family and Children. They may to to accuse you of child cueltly.

  100. whispersd says: Aug 16, 2015 12:21 PM

    phinfan says:
    Aug 16, 2015 11:52 AM
    Yeah tell new england that

    One of the two teams involved in the AFCCG raised a “participation” banner, and it wasn’t the Patriots.

  101. mymanmccoy says: Aug 16, 2015 12:21 PM

    Dear president, pls call harrison, because he’s black and he gets it. No political correctness here for james!

  102. dave8327 says: Aug 16, 2015 12:24 PM

    You got nothing to say you’re sorry for dog. Way to raise your kids.

  103. swagger52 says: Aug 16, 2015 12:24 PM

    Gotta love the AFC North!!!

    AFC East…It is fine to cheat, because everybody else cheats.

  104. swagger52 says: Aug 16, 2015 12:26 PM

    This is why we need more men influencing society, this is especially true of raising boys to be men. We need less women raising boys, and more men raising boys. Women raising boys = everybody gets a trophy.

  105. whispersd says: Aug 16, 2015 12:28 PM

    bullcharger says:
    Aug 16, 2015 11:50 AM
    I don’t think participation trophies represent anything other than acknowledging participation, which isn’t so bad if you run a marathon for example.

    I think it depends on the event. I’ve gotten participation medals for running marathons and for doing a mile run. I think the understanding is that finishing 26.2 miles is an accomplishment, and that doing it is something more than ‘particicpation.’

    Doing so for a mile run is silly. But the organizers do so because a lot of kids run it.

  106. swagger52 says: Aug 16, 2015 12:30 PM

    I have an idea…

    Lets send all participation trophies to a museum exhibit in Pittsburgh named the James Harrison museum.

  107. dreece13 says: Aug 16, 2015 12:30 PM

    Do you think he accepted the AFCCG ring when they lost to the Packers?

  108. gogreenbiotch says: Aug 16, 2015 12:34 PM

    Personally I think it’s kind of silly to give trophies like this , but after reading these comments I feel sad some of you. You all sound like those parents who hit their kids and their defense is “well, my parents beat me”. Like because your child hood sucked so your kids has to as well.

    You all must spend quite a bit of money on bandaid’s for your knuckles.

  109. daryllh says: Aug 16, 2015 12:37 PM

    Amazing how the comments here differ from the comments in the Deadspin article.

  110. faulkana says: Aug 16, 2015 12:41 PM

    witchrunner says:
    Aug 16, 2015 11:56 AM
    greg2geez: This isn’t a matter of someONE giving something. This is a matter of an institutionalized attitude. I’ve received ugly gifts before and have accepted them with graciousness. But, that is not what Rodney is talking about. There is no “thoughtfulness” in these participation awards. As you say, no award is necessary for participating. It’s the idea that anyone thinks that just participating is worthy of an award. It’s part of the dumbing down of society.

    Kids are smarter than you think. They know when they’ve “earned” something. Rodney’s no only teaching his kids, but the adults involved too!
    ———————————————————————-

    I don’t mean to be picky, but you keep calling him,”Rodney”.

    I just wanted to let you know that this is “James”.
    James is the woman beater. Rodney is not.

    I don’t know if that will change your perception of him, or not, but they are very different Harrisons.

    It’s kind of spooky hearing all of you acting like this low-life is saving the world.

    Politely take the trophy and do whatever you want to with it when you get home.

    Really no need to Tweet yourself pink unless you are just looking for attention.

  111. mrmcdougle says: Aug 16, 2015 12:45 PM

    swagger52 says:
    Aug 16, 2015 12:26 PM
    This is why we need more men influencing society, this is especially true of raising boys to be men. We need less women raising boys, and more men raising boys. Women raising boys = everybody gets a trophy.
    —————-

    We need more men influencing society? How about 50/50? Men influence society much more than women.

  112. toybkshr says: Aug 16, 2015 12:47 PM

    Never thot I’d be on the same page as this guy, but yes I am.
    My Gr Kids have a bunch of those participation type awards & I just don’t get it. In my AAU days if I didn’t finish in top three (meaning at least a bronze) then I’d work harder before the next meet. ————————————————— I think that’s missing in these days of “lets not hurt anyones feelings” !!

  113. drgreenstreak says: Aug 16, 2015 12:48 PM

    Harrison should not even be a father. That’s scary. He isn’t mature himself. Has the mind of a 12 yr old.

  114. jmscooby says: Aug 16, 2015 12:49 PM

    I can appreciate Harrison’s desire to teach his boys a good work ethic. I hope he considered the possibility of them losing the concept of team.

  115. ajd4 says: Aug 16, 2015 12:50 PM

    When I was playing hockey growing up in the 80’s, the tournaments had the regular trophies for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and consolation and also the sportsmanship trophy. The sportsmanship trophy was almost always given to the last place team in the tournament. Nobody wanted this trophy, it was pretty much a participation trophy.

  116. frozenburritobuttsecks says: Aug 16, 2015 12:51 PM

    Check your achievement privilege, Mr. Harrison

  117. bonniebengal says: Aug 16, 2015 12:51 PM

    bullcharger says:
    Aug 16, 2015 11:50 AM
    I don’t think participation trophies represent anything other than acknowledging participation, which isn’t so bad if you run a marathon for example. Nothing wrong with teaching kids the fact that trying your best isn’t always enough. That’s a good thing as long as it doesn’t make kids afraid to try things they can’t win at right away.
    _______________
    I’m a 50 year old woman training for my first 10K right now, and when I finish, my red faced, snot dripping selfie will be my participation trophy.

  118. thetruthcampaign says: Aug 16, 2015 12:56 PM

    #allTrophiesMatter

  119. greg2geez says: Aug 16, 2015 12:59 PM

    Witchrunner you have no clue. For starters, who is Rodney? King? Dangerfied? Harrison?
    This is about giving, and giving back in the ungrateful, I-don’t-deserve-this-I’m-too-good-for-it way. Clearly you and James Harrison don’t understand this because you have not volunteered your time to a kids athletic league.
    So if you and James Harrison have so much to teach us dumb parents about not screwing up society through sports I expect the next article I read involving either of you will announce you both coaching, refereeing, field marking or organizing your local youth sports teams.
    And when you do you will both learn that the whole team sports experience and the lessons kids learn from it are the big gift given by all the parents and volunteers in your community and that the little participation trophy at the end is just the bow on top. Whether or not the kids and their parents understand this, all they are required to give back is thanks. Giving back the bow is insulting and disrespectful to all the effort everybody put in to that leagues season. If respecting your community is dumb, so be it, but dont expect help when your house is on fire. And don’t fool yourself into thinking that disrespect is a value a man teaches children.

  120. lordluvasuperduck says: Aug 16, 2015 1:01 PM

    This is why we need more men influencing society, this is especially true of raising boys to be men. We need less women raising boys, and more men raising boys. Women raising boys = everybody gets a trophy.

    2 2
    If so many men didn’t walk out on their wives and kids maybe it wouldn’t be such a problem

  121. mrmcdougle says: Aug 16, 2015 1:02 PM

    Perhaps it only enforces that their playing a game. That they played it for fun. That there are 1000 things in life that matter, and winning a game where your run around a field tackling someone is not it.

    It’s a trophy for a game, it’s not like a report card, or a metal of valor.

    You fight wars to win (if you have to), you ‘win’ by saving someone’s life on an operating table. You don’t play children’s games to ‘win’, you do it to have fun. The smart kids know the difference, and they’re the ones who will be elevating our society beyond where it’s been for the past century. The one’s like James Harrison, will grow up to be like … James Harrison. If you teach your kids this winning mentality, perhaps you’ll end up with a Michael Jordan or a James Harrison. They are great at winning a game, but fail at being a great human.

  122. pftfan says: Aug 16, 2015 1:06 PM

    Wish Mr. Harrison would’ve put this much thought into whether he should’ve beat his girlfriend or not.

  123. joepescisballs says: Aug 16, 2015 1:06 PM

    I love all Internet tough guys posting here.

  124. kindasporty says: Aug 16, 2015 1:06 PM

    I’ve coached my kids rec league basketball teams for the last 3 years, and one thing I’ve noticed is that the kids don’t care about participation medals. They know who’s winning and losing and almost all of them want to win. Even in the younger grades where they don’t keep score, all the kids know the score. So I don’t have any problem with what James Harrison is doing, and even admire it. But I don’t think that giving kids participation trophies teaches them to not try and be the best. I think we don’t give our kids enough credit and they know better.

  125. brentwoodjerry says: Aug 16, 2015 1:16 PM

    How can I voter for him?

  126. beach305 says: Aug 16, 2015 1:21 PM

    I’m 48 years old and remember back in the 70’s that they use to give ribbons for this kind of stuff all the time. When I was in bowling camp I got a trophy for averaging an 80. Getting a shinny trophy made me want to get a bigger one, so I practice until I averaged a 120, then 180.

    The point being is that is the trophy didn’t make me want to try less but try harder to get a bigger one.

  127. realitycheckbaby says: Aug 16, 2015 1:31 PM

    And yet he thinks it’s OK to base his success on roids and a SB ring on refs.

  128. noteamforlosangeles says: Aug 16, 2015 1:34 PM

    I agree with James…Now if only game shows would stop giving “consolation prizes”

  129. acehawk55 says: Aug 16, 2015 1:56 PM

    Can we please put participation trophies for children into a proper perspective? If there’s something wrong with giving out awards to people who don’t win, then why do athletes receive silver and bronze medals at the Olympics.

  130. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Aug 16, 2015 2:03 PM

    And no snowballs when they lose either.

  131. pat4elvis says: Aug 16, 2015 2:13 PM

    Love it!!

  132. yahmule says: Aug 16, 2015 2:15 PM

    He does encourage them targeting opponents’ knees, though.

  133. flaccosmoustache says: Aug 16, 2015 2:15 PM

    Harrison is one of my fave players ever. Signed, Ravens diehard.

  134. nflexecutivesconstantlylie says: Aug 16, 2015 2:20 PM

    First prize for winning kids? A Cadillac
    Second prize? A set of steak knives
    Third prize? Get off the field

  135. partmachine says: Aug 16, 2015 2:25 PM

    A trophy can be something you have to earn, like if it is the prize for winning something. It can also be a reward for something, like completing something you start, like a season of sports.

    As a parent that puts his kids in sports, the trophy at the end gives them a reminder as to why their dad wouldn’t ever let them quit.

  136. 1952vikefan says: Aug 16, 2015 2:26 PM

    THE TROPHY GUY IS NOT GOING TO LIKE THIS

  137. silicor says: Aug 16, 2015 2:29 PM

    Harrison the UDFA was cut 4 times over 3 years and almost quit football. He didn’t quit, he did the opposite and worked harder to figure out the game and become a physical force.

    This is why he is teaching this lesson to his kids. He could have been satisfied with making multiple training camps and gone off to be a veterinarian… Instead, he became a pro-bowler and super bowl MVP. Powerful stuff!

  138. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Aug 16, 2015 2:55 PM

    what this guy does within his family is his business. which is where he should have left it.

    the anti-p.c. tripe is just as tired as the p.c. tripe it vilifies.

  139. realitycheckbaby says: Aug 16, 2015 2:55 PM

    Yes, if your best isn’t good enough, you should figure out how to get better.

    If you’re the Pats you deflate the ball and steal plays.

    If you’re the Steelers you call Dr Rydze.

  140. dejadoh says: Aug 16, 2015 3:07 PM

    Don’t get me wrong, I think social promotion, the dumming down of our society with phony rewards are a serious mistake to make kids feel special.

    But what we all know is that a lot of success in life is the act of just showing up.

  141. futuresbmvpleveon says: Aug 16, 2015 3:15 PM

    Packer fans, are you listening to Harrison? If there was no championship game, you shouldn’t feel good about getting a trophy. That eliminates your first 8 “championships”.

  142. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonAndNeverToReturn says: Aug 16, 2015 3:25 PM

    Did he get a trophy for attending domestic violence counseling?

  143. geezohman says: Aug 16, 2015 3:34 PM

    I’m 63… didn’t get ‘participation ribbons or trophies… my son is 30, now married..

    what did I say to him when he would have a ‘boo, boo’..

    get up… shake it off… your a Steeler (fan)..

    he made varsity, freshman year..running, cross country and by senior year… team captain.

    …so… oh my… you’re kid quit watching video games on the couch and did something…

    Country is going soft. We need a few good men… you want the truth ?

  144. conormacleod says: Aug 16, 2015 3:51 PM

    Man, what a bunch of jerks here. You know, it’s ok to also be there emotionally for your child, and also praise them, even if they don’t win.

    It all depends on the age of the kid. If his kids are 7 or younger, then he’s just being an a-hole. It does NOT mean your child will never try in life if he/she gets a participation award in Kindergarten!!!

  145. conormacleod says: Aug 16, 2015 3:52 PM

    I’m 63… didn’t get ‘participation ribbons or trophies… my son is 30, now married..
    —–
    You, sir, are a bitter old man. Is that what we want now? A country full of people that clearly hate everything?

  146. futuresbmvpleveon says: Aug 16, 2015 4:06 PM

    “Did he get a trophy for attending domestic violence counseling?”

    No, cause he finished 2nd behind Suggs.

  147. conormacleod says: Aug 16, 2015 4:07 PM

    you can bet your bottom dollar that China, Iran, or North Korea do not raise their kids to be soft.
    ——-
    Holy cows. I so hope the person that posted this doesn’t have kids. He is nuts.

  148. bobdancer says: Aug 16, 2015 4:07 PM

    Given that there’s a correlation between the athleticism of parents and children, it wouldn’t surprise me that James Harrison, a successful professional athlete, would have children who were also much more athletically gifted than others of their age. (This is speculation on my part. I’ve never met his kids and didn’t even know he had any until this article came out.)

    For exceptional kids like this, you need higher standards.

    If you’ve raised children who aren’t gifted athletically, there’s something to be said for awarding them for trying hard. It keeps their enthusiasm higher — and keeps them participating.

    I don’t think it’s a matter of political correctness. It’s a matter of finding the right motivation for each child. As equal as we are supposed to be under the law, we are certainly not equal in abilities.

    In the Special Olympics, for children with various disabilities, everyone gets a participation award. Would you do away with those as well? If not, there’s not so much difference between them and kids with average athletic abilities competing with kids with superior athletic abilities.

    It’s all about not letting your “non-special” abilities keep you from participating in life.

  149. oldmanbirdfan says: Aug 16, 2015 4:09 PM

    packfntk
    Aug 16, 2015, 9:28 AM EDT
    His boys will grow to hate him.

    This post is laughable….. Must be Dr Spock ,,,,,,what an idiot. My dad was like that and I dealt loved the man even after he died…. You are a bozo and the reason kids these days think their. Entitled ..this whole generation is loll Bout entitlements.. And it’s always somebody else’s fault….wow you must have got that quote out of a comic book

  150. conormacleod says: Aug 16, 2015 4:10 PM

    Good for him!

    I’m guessing we have a lot of the “other” kind of parents here judging by the number of thumb downs the supportive comments received.
    ———
    You mean the kind of parents that raise their children with love and compassion? Ya, those people are horrible.

  151. conormacleod says: Aug 16, 2015 4:13 PM

    How is a kid going to learn to compete in life. There are no participation trophies in the real world. Just wins and losses
    ——-
    That’s completely not true at all. You can retake classes in college. You can collect your paycheck at work, even if you’re not the best employee. And, do you know what they call the worst student who graduates from medical school???? Doctor.

  152. faulkana says: Aug 16, 2015 4:17 PM

    geezohman says:
    Aug 16, 2015 3:34 PM
    I’m 63… didn’t get ‘participation ribbons or trophies… my son is 30, now married..

    what did I say to him when he would have a ‘boo, boo’..

    get up… shake it off… your a Steeler (fan)..

    he made varsity, freshman year..running, cross country and by senior year… team captain.

    …so… oh my… you’re kid quit watching video games on the couch and did something…

    Country is going soft. We need a few good men… you want the truth ?
    —————————————————————

    I will guess that you never received any spelling, or grammar trophies either.
    I guess that as long as “Your a Steeler fan”, all you need to learn is your, “P, E, D’s”.

  153. donnywb says: Aug 16, 2015 4:17 PM

    Exactly. I mean one of the great failings in our society is that we, as parents, don’t place a greater emphasis on winning IN LITTLE LEAGUE. Give me a break.

  154. lrical says: Aug 16, 2015 4:17 PM

    You do not give a kid a trophy for trying

  155. mackcarrington says: Aug 16, 2015 4:24 PM

    While he’s right about the kids receiving trophies, I wonder what his stance is on slapping around women. Steeler fans are glad Ray Rice is drummed out of the league, but have selective memories of Harrison’s woman beating episode.

  156. doggeatdogg says: Aug 16, 2015 4:33 PM

    Oh please. These days kids are playing and no scores are kept because someone is going to have his feelings hurt and everyone wins in the end. This is the killing of the competitive spirit and I don’t blame him one bit. His sons won’t be snowflakes.

  157. restonraven says: Aug 16, 2015 4:55 PM

    This is the same James Harrison that was arrested for breaking down a door to beat his baby mama for refusing to baptize their baby – correct? Is that part of Harrison family values?

  158. whodat5150 says: Aug 16, 2015 5:00 PM

    I’m not promoting it but I don’t mind such trophies for 4-7 year olds; to build their self esteem. But after that time, parents need to start weening their kids to how the real world works. Yes, EVERYONE gets to pay in T-ball. But if you want to play more in Little League and other sports, you need to EARN the right to play more. IMO todays parents and schools are more interested in making sure kids feel good about themselves than preparing them for life. Life is ALL about competition. You’re COMPETING against others for a job, the girl or guy you like, the house you want to buy, a promotion, customers for your business, etc, etc…Kudos to James Harrison!

  159. sabres12 says: Aug 16, 2015 5:30 PM

    Good man!

  160. bengalsfan2079 says: Aug 16, 2015 5:45 PM

    I can respect that. I know James didn’t spend much time here with the Bengals but I like his message behind this. Plus one to you Mr. Harrison

  161. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 16, 2015 6:25 PM

    “America loves a winner, and will not tolerate a loser, this is why America has never, and will never, lose a war.”
    -General Patton

  162. robyesno says: Aug 16, 2015 6:56 PM

    Thank GOD Almighty we don’t earn our way into Heaven – It’s a gift from God least any man should boast. Thank you Jesus!!!!!

  163. swagger52 says: Aug 16, 2015 8:21 PM

    swagger52 says:
    Aug 16, 2015 12:26 PM
    This is why we need more men influencing society, this is especially true of raising boys to be men. We need less women raising boys, and more men raising boys. Women raising boys = everybody gets a trophy.
    —————-

    We need more men influencing society? How about 50/50? Men influence society much more than women.

    ____________

    Politician men pander to women so that they win the “war on women”.

    Or every male judge in America worried that they will be singled out by the femi-nazis that they are too soft on male violence.

    Or every male student in college having to prove that they are innocent of rape

    is not a 50/50 society.

  164. south1park1cows says: Aug 16, 2015 8:35 PM

    I would not expect anything less from a Pittsburgh Steeler!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  165. nopepper123 says: Aug 16, 2015 8:59 PM

    So, when Harrison loses, he still collects his millions………maybe he shouldn’t collect if he loses???

  166. jayditka says: Aug 16, 2015 9:39 PM

    GOOD FOR HIM ! SICK OF THE PC CRAP.YOU EARN YOUR WAY IN THIS LIFE….

  167. lambeauandlombardi says: Aug 16, 2015 10:08 PM

    futuresbmvpleveon says:
    Aug 16, 2015 3:15 PM
    Packer fans, are you listening to Harrison? If there was no championship game, you shouldn’t feel good about getting a trophy. That eliminates your first 8 “championships”.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………….

    But it doesn`t eliminate the one in 2011. Still hurts, doesn`t it?

  168. daryllh says: Aug 17, 2015 1:09 AM

    Greg Lloyd called. Said if you aren’t sticking the muzzle of a pistol in the kid’s face, it’s not a threat.

  169. sbchampsagain says: Aug 17, 2015 8:50 AM

    Did Harrison cash his paycheck after the huge playoff loss to the Ravens?

  170. paul1990 says: Aug 17, 2015 9:16 AM

    I really don’t mind this for 4-6 year old kids. It encourages them to come back out the next year, but that’s it. Nothing after that, though.

  171. mdsayre says: Aug 17, 2015 10:07 AM

    Amen. He’s right on! Look at James dropping the knowledge, this guy’s coaching material.

  172. mickton says: Aug 17, 2015 10:25 AM

    Every year Jim Harrison is a steeler & they don’t win a championship he should return any monies paid to him even if he did his best.

  173. enlightenedskeptic says: Aug 17, 2015 10:27 AM

    I smell a reality show in this guy’s future.

  174. tangovader says: Aug 17, 2015 1:20 PM

    I don’t care if they do or don’t give out trophies. Kids are smarter than most of these idiot parents realize. They know they aren’t winners when they get a participation trophy. They don’t care.

    Adults are the ones always looking for something political to blame for the shape of their kids. “Pacifist Liberals! Ignorant Conservatives! P.C.! Anti-P.C.!” Pffft.

    If a kid sucks, it’s probably because their parent sucked. Or someone the kid hung out with sucked. Or the neighborhood sucked. Or the kid was just born to suck. It’s not because someone once gave them a plastic mold of some generic dude swinging a bat at a ball. Geesh. The real wussification, is all the finger-pointing and doomday predicting everyone wants to do everytime something ‘conflicts’ with their worldview.

  175. mack2x says: Aug 17, 2015 1:42 PM

    nopepper123 says:

    Ya, that’s what we strive for. More disappointed kids. Cause it’s so important to make sure little kids are unhappy.

    God forbid, a kid may be disappointed or unhappy sometime in life. Might help them to learn how to handle some adversity later in life without freaking out.

  176. ravensroostoftexas says: Aug 17, 2015 2:04 PM

    Amen Rodney. Well said.

  177. thelastpieceofcheese says: Aug 17, 2015 7:29 PM

    Some participation trophies are not that bad. Like for example, a quart of Jack Daniels.

  178. gdeli says: Aug 17, 2015 11:30 PM

    I never liked this guy. Human wrecking ball, bit much.

  179. dhardy8207 says: Aug 18, 2015 10:54 AM

    HBO’s Real Sports just did a segment on “participation trophies” and the false sense of accomplishment that it sends to our younger generations. The very ones who support this idea are the soccer moms that can’t stand the idea that their precious little one isn’t competitive enough. However what they don’t understand is giving a trophy for mere participation creates a lack of competitiveness. Why should a youngster do the training required to be the best if they’re going to get a trophy anyway? Real Sports also dwelled into the fact that once this mentality is created in young children, how that will affect them once they become old enough to really compete at the collegiate and professional level.

  180. Moyda says: Aug 19, 2015 2:22 AM

    geezohman says:
    Aug 16, 2015 3:34 PM
    I’m 63… didn’t get ‘participation ribbons or trophies… my son is 30, now married..
    what did I say to him when he would have a ‘boo, boo’..
    get up… shake it off… your a Steeler (fan)..
    he made varsity, freshman year..running, cross country and by senior year… team captain.
    …so… oh my… you’re kid quit watching video games on the couch and did something…
    Country is going soft. We need a few good men… you want the truth ?

    —–—–

    conormacleod says:
    Aug 16, 2015 3:52 PM
    You, sir, are a bitter old man. Is that what we want now? A country full of people that clearly hate everything?

    —–—–

    What does what he said have to do with bitterness and hate? It’s apparent he was raised with tough love and he in turn raised his boy the same. He’s attributing that tough love style to his son’s excellence. And in the end he correctly points out that, as a society on the whole, we’re more sedentary and soft (obesity epidemic, overly PC culture, everybody win mentality, school officials can no longer discipline kids, etc.) than a couple of decades ago.

    He speaks of a lowering of the bar, and his disappointment in this, not hate.

  181. cryomark says: Aug 19, 2015 12:10 PM

    There is nothing wrong with recognizing the effort and sacrifice the scrubs put into the game. It’s usually no less than the starters give. But doing it with the same symbol traditionally reserved for the pinnacle achievers demeans them both.

    I don’t think they should award silver medals either.

  182. usap1 says: Aug 20, 2015 8:19 AM

    It’s one thing to give every kid in the league a T-shirt that says, “Centerville Tee Ball – 2015” or something like that, but trophies are supposed to represent excellence. You might give everybody a cookie but not a trophy!

  183. noteamforlosangeles says: Aug 20, 2015 12:47 PM

    Sprinkles are for winners…

  184. gofor2with3pointlead says: Aug 21, 2015 4:28 PM

    What Harrison did is, was, and always will be fine. But I can see here what the reason is for the decline of Western civilization, and it ain’t participation trophies.

  185. gofor2with3pointlead says: Aug 21, 2015 5:18 PM

    Without even putting words in your mouth cryomark. By your logic it’s ok to “demean” who ever didn’t win? I hope that’s not what you meant. You see what I’m getting at here folks. I don’t think everyone should get a participation trophy either, but the pendulum has swung so far the other way that “competitiveness” is valued more than “sportsmanship”, which is why you have parents assaulting officials and other coaches. It’s far easier to teach a kid that everyone loves a winner, but not everyone is born with a competitive drive that makes a champion. It is considerably more difficult to teach a kid the humility that you see from gracious champion. Let my kid have the trophy, I’ll teach them the relative value of it. You raise your crybabies however you see fit

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