James Harrison is prepared to sit out, if necessary

Getty Images

As the NFL Players Association formulates a plan for responding to the NFL’s interview-or-else mandate directed to Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, Packers linebacker Julius Peppers, Steelers linebacker James Harrison, and free-agent defensive lineman Mike Neal, Harrison is willing to sit out, if it’s the right thing to do.

Even though Harrison claims he has nothing to hide — he reiterated an invitation to conduct the interview at his house, with Commissioner Roger Goodell attending — Harrison realizes that compelling players to give evidence in response to unsubstantiated allegations opens the door for a wide variety of outcomes.

“Somebody could come out and say James Harrison is a pedophile,” Harrison said, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “They are going to suspend me, put me under investigation for being a pedophile just because somebody said it? I’m not going to answer questions for every little thing some Tom, Dick and Harry comes up with.”

As a result, Harrison will take the advice of the NFLPA.

“I’ll do what I have to do,” Harrison said. “They’ll do what they have to do. We’ll make that decision when that time comes. . . . I just am doing what I’m advised to do [by the NFLPA]. It’s the right thing to do.”

With the deadline for talking nine days away, the only thing for the NFLPA to do will be to seek an immediate ruling from a third party regarding whether Article 46 trumps the PED policy on the question of whether players are compelled to provide testimony that can be used against them for PED allegations unrelated to a positive test or a violation of the law.

123 responses to “James Harrison is prepared to sit out, if necessary

  1. Its true… James hasnt been caught doing any wrong doing and hes guilty in the public eye… Ben never was in handcuffs for rape and hes guilty in the public eye.. BUT noone calls Ray Lewis a murder and hes allllll over google in a red jumpsuit… the media makes these stories come to life…

  2. People watch the NFL because of the good players playing the game. Why the NFL wants to drag them all through the mud all the time makes no sense to me. Got to drop the reality show aspect and start protecting the players and the game more.

  3. Goodell is so hot for James Harrison just a chance to sniff his @$$ will cause an investigation. Harrison and all the players are right to stand their ground. Goodell is acting like their mom, sticking his nose into everything he hears. Pretty soon fans are going to start writing anonymous letters to the league claiming their rival teams star player is taking steroids. If the players submit to this request it is setting a horrible precedent for years to come. Stay strong James, Clay, and Julius!

  4. Sounds to me like “I’m not going to incriminate myself”. If he really has nothing to hide, cooperate. Don’t make your team suffer because you want to hide behind this false narrative of sticking it to Goodell. If he is totally innocent, then they won’t find anything. You can gloat all over Goodell’s face. It is certainly possible, at the very least, there is some kernal’s to the Al-Jazeera report Maybe something much more that any of us can possibly imagine.

  5. If the NFL concluded that the Al Jazeera accusations were false against Manning, then that should have already discredited the source (Al Jazeera), and the NFL should just leave the other 4 alone. It’s ridiculous.

  6. Yes, Article 46 (Donald) trumps everything!
    It’s not GODell, but a handful of owners that are pulling the strings here!
    If these players had any balls they’d strike at the beginning of the season and hurt the owners where it matters, their wallet!

  7. I’m a member of a Union. If someone made an accusation against me, I could be disciplined if I refused to speak with my employer about it. Im not saying it’s right, but refusing to cooperate can be grounds for discipline. Their suspension won’t be on the basis of the accusation, it will be on their refusal to speak with their employer about it.

  8. “Harrison is willing to sit out if that’s the right thing to do”

    If he has nothing to hide then why not sit down and exonerate yourself. My guess is the NFLPA advises him to do just that.

  9. The NFL should seriously not be empowered to mete out livelihood suspensions over mere allegations (as opposed to actual convictions that properly adhered to the requirements of due process).

    The possibility for abuse is obvious, and the man “protecting the shield” has shown a propensity to abuse his power. Recall his “hard guy” face on the cover of time, where he was labeled, “The Enforcer.”

  10. That little speech will play well to the Lowest Common Denominator, which is why they don’t run things.

  11. What’s he hiding? Maybe he’s hoping the banned substance level in his blood drops over time before samples are taken.

  12. I dont think they have any evidence. But they want to go fishing to see if there is any credibility to it. See if anybody folds under the pressure.

    Plus they can say they had a accusation and they did everything to investigate it.

    I’m not a union guy, but just because some yahoo, starts name dropping, doesn’t mean my rights go away.

  13. Any body in any other job would have to answer questions,test or find another job,come on guys let’s set a new precedent and confess to the whole thing…

  14. If he’s willing to sit out now – knowing he’s in the twilight of his career – well then, that certainly answers the question of guilt vs innocence.

  15. The NFLPA and the players involved are now playing up the loss of rights and the power mad NFL to avoid the underlying question: why won’t they agree to be interviewed about the accusations? If you are innocent then take a day and answer the questions. Stop deflecting away from the matter at hand. We know NFL players have taken PED’s. As soon as a test came out for HGH, there was a reluctance on behalf of the NFLPA to agree to a testing agreement. Now we have players who definitely give off the impression they have taken something. Clay Matthews especially has the look of an HGH user. Walk on player at USC who didn’t do much his first 3 years, then shows up huge and making plays his senior year. If you are innocent, then answer the questions.

  16. Goodell may not be afraid of one player, or even 4 players sitting out… but wouldn’t it be something special if the Steelers took a stance and forfeited game 1 on Monday night 9/12? Packers could follow that up by forfeiting their 9/18 game at the shiny new MN stadium unveiling.

    That would bring ESPN, NBC and potentially ALL of the networks who are paying $Billions to broadcast games that aren’t played into the fray.

    Doubt it’ll happen, but $$ talks and Goodell would be forced to listen.

  17. Uncommon- if said accuser recanted his accusation before your employer got around to questioning you, could you still be forced to be interviewed about it?

    This is the four players’ issue- the accuser has recanted the story upon which the Al Jazeera report was based. That should be the end of it.

    And notice how the NFL waited until its golden boy Peyton Manning retired before they made a big deal of this story…

  18. Look at Harrison. Does anyone really believe he’s not using some form of PED? I don’t care how many massages he gets or how much he stretches. You can’t play OLB or DE for 14 years at that level without a little help.

    If he’s not guilty then just cooperate and be part of the process to ensure the league starts to clean up.

  19. It’s a shame that convoluted logic about “precedent” and “slippery slopes” prevents simple matters from being resolved…simply…

    This should have resulted in a couple of NFL investigators pulling aside the 4 guys after practice for a quick Q&A, nothing more. Boom – done – no problems. But instead the NFL and NFLPA both want to go to war over a stupid, hypothetical issue.

    Too many attorneys involved on both sides…

  20. If anyone should sit out it should be Harrison; carrying the torch for all of the Steelers ill-begotten, steroid infused “championships”.

    He wouldn’t pass any muster on Roids – Dude is as guilty as the day is long.

  21. Is the league really going through with this just because of some gossip or have they got hard evidence. If they are conducting this investigation based on title tattle God help us.

  22. If the NFL concluded that the Al Jazeera accusations were false against Manning, then that should have already discredited the source (Al Jazeera), and the NFL should just leave the other 4 alone. It’s ridiculous..”

    Of course it’s ridiculous, but Goodell cheated the fans twice.

    1. Gomer admitted to having PEDs sent to his house. This is an immediate 6 game suspension according to Goodell. Goodell did nothing because he didn’t want NE facing Osweiler a 2nd time in the title game.

    2. Goodell then covered it up for Manning just recently, but somehow holds a different standard for these players.

    Goodell is corrupt and arrogant, he doesn’t even know when he lies or contradicts himself.

  23. footballboozer says:
    Aug 16, 2016 2:07 PM

    … If these players had any balls they’d strike at the beginning of the season and hurt the owners where it matters, their wallet!
    _____________________

    Surely you jest. Some players mishandle their money so badly that they live virtually paycheck to paycheck. They’ll cave before a week goes by.

  24. he is totally guilty and trying prolong it until the crap is no longer in his system.
    If your not guilty, you dont ave anything to worry about.
    And who cares whats coming out of Tomlins mouth, he is two face liar.

  25. The whole thing is so weird. I could maybe see this if the guy didn’t recant his story, but he did recant. I just don’t see what Goodell hopes to gain by this – could it possibly be that he is just doing it to protect the integrity of the game? Seems unlikely, but could it really be just a power grab? What’s the point of that? Nobody wins and they end up killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

  26. “I see no physical evidence that Clay Matthews ever took PEDs!”

    -said NOBODY….ever!

    Dude’s head-his cranium is huge.

    Walk on at USC, last year at USC becomes huge. Been huge ever since.

    His head has its own zipcode.

    Did I mention his head is huge?

    Nothing to see here according to pack fans……..right!

  27. James Harrison used. That’s why he’s not coming clean like Manning did. Not a surprise given the culture of cheating in Pittsburgh. No different than the Pats. Packers were somewhat a surprise though. Manning admitted he did nothing wrong and met with Goodell because he had nothing to hide. He didn’t smash his phone or have his equipment guys act shady on his behalf.

  28. wcman says:
    Aug 16, 2016 2:15 PM
    The NFLPA and the players involved are now playing up the loss of rights and the power mad NFL to avoid the underlying question: why won’t they agree to be interviewed about the accusations?
    ====================

    If you believe that is the underlying question then you haven’t been paying attention. Rice was ‘interviewed’, so was Peterson and Brady gave sworn testimony. Goodell lied about all 3 and that’s not simply a fan’s opinion but public statements from a judge and Special Master as well as published fact in the Brady arbitration statement vs the actual transcript. The real story here is that the players do not trust the league office, for good reason.

  29. @jeemie4043

    Maybe. It depends on the context. If my employer had reason to believe that the original accusation was true or that the recant was coerced (paid off) than they would continue.

  30. The NFL was so much better when I knew a lot less about those running it and those playing it. What used to be a good escape from the grind is starting to become more drama than entertainment. From here on out I guess it will remain “As the NFL turns.”

  31. RegisHawk says:
    Aug 16, 2016 2:11 PM
    That little speech will play well to the Lowest Common Denominator, which is why they don’t run things.
    =================

    Well that and they are too busy being 12’s.

  32. mysterytonite says:
    Aug 16, 2016 2:01 PM
    Sounds to me like “I’m not going to incriminate myself”. If he really has nothing to hide, cooperate. Don’t make your team suffer because you want to hide behind this false narrative of sticking it to Goodell. If he is totally innocent, then they won’t find anything. You can gloat all over Goodell’s face. It is certainly possible, at the very least, there is some kernal’s to the Al-Jazeera report Maybe something much more that any of us can possibly imagine.

    ———————————————————————

    James is cooperating. If Goodell goes to his house he’ll submit. So, nothing to hide from James but Goodell refuses to go to his house sooooo….what does Goodell have to hide?!?!

  33. It absolutely blows my mind that so many of you don’t believe it should be within the scope of the leagues authority to investigate reports of PED use by its players through interviews with the alleged users.
    Let Harrison stand on principle and sit out indefinitely. It will only hurt he and his team.
    I’m not as familiar with Neal but it’s very, very obvious that Harrison, Peppers and Matthews are PED users. Looks like Harrison’s attitude with the commissioner is going to come back and bite him. Either that or he’s going to sit for the interview and I can guarantee you it won’t be at his house.

  34. “If he really has nothing to hide, cooperate.”

    It’s amazing that anyone would say this after watching what happened the last two years to Tom Brady…

  35. As a Pats fan, all I can say is “Welcome to our world!”…where just the whiff of indiscretion, even when discredited by science and the NFL failing to follow up with the results of this past year’s findings, can mean you lose 4 games, draft choices, etc.

  36. Aug 16, 2016 2:00 PM – bullcharger says: … Why the NFL wants to drag them all through the mud all the time makes no sense to me. …

    If the NFL did not keep an obsessively tight rein on these guys, some of them would feel free to break all the rules and would fail to be model citizens. I’m sure others feel that if the NFL would just relax, all the players would be very cooperative and well behaved.

  37. It absolutely blows my mind that so many of you don’t believe it should be within the scope of the leagues authority to investigate reports of PED use by its players through interviews with the alleged users.
    ——
    Why? This was a report based on the words of an ex-intern who later recanted the whole thing. This didn’t come from a doctor, it came from an ex intern who would have no idea what went on. You don’t see the danger in going after players based on a very sketchy accusation by an untrustworthy person? That’s setting one heck of a precedent.

  38. Football players do not work for the league. They are contracted to their individual teams. Saying, “I’d get fired for not talking to my employer about X,” is not relevant here. The NFL is not the employer.

    While we’re at it, if the league wants to act like one sole employing entity, they need their antitrust exemption taken away. They’ve had their cake and eaten it, too, for far too long. The league office is a runaway train at this point and it needs to be stopped.

  39. This was already determined not to be creditable when they talked to Manning who was listed on the report too… Why is this even still an issue? I see stupid reports all the time about PED’s, I highly doubt the NFL follows up on every one… If so I will work on an accusation for the whole Vikings team for a Love Boat 2.0 & PED, and I will expect a full investigation with every player interviewed…

  40. Everybody knows that every since Marion Jones was stripped of her Gold Medals, ( her boyfriend turned her in when she shut his money off) PEDs that were undetectable with normal testing have been around since the 90’s.
    It was obvious when Mark McGuire hit 70 homers in a season after he and Barry Bonds turned into human monsters compared to their Rookie pictures. Bonds HR Record is null to me…
    So what do we do about it???
    THIS??? or let every player do it? Scary but they are here for good, and Guilty players are going to get turned in by GREEDY Dealers, (or by their competitors)!

  41. maust1013,

    If you believe that is the underlying question then you haven’t been paying attention. Rice was ‘interviewed’, so was Peterson and Brady gave sworn testimony. Goodell lied about all 3 and that’s not simply a fan’s opinion but public statements from a judge and Special Master as well as published fact in the Brady arbitration statement vs the actual transcript. The real story here is that the players do not trust the league office, for good reason.

    Rice was guilty as was Peterson. We don’t know for sure about Brady but there was a lot of reasons to believe he was too including destroying a phone that just so happened to be the one with the texts in question. That’s why the appellate courts reversed the decisions handed down by a clearly biased Judge. I’m not trying to defend Goodell, he’s made mistakes, but it’s now become a case of blaming him for everything and ignoring the fact that these accused players could end this in a day if they answered the questions asked in person. Instead they hide behind the idea that the NFL is bad and wants to violate their rights. Give me a freaking break. If you’re innocent, you don’t hedge on doing what will clear your name. An accuser recanting his statements because he’s being threatened with legal action by everybody named is not justification for just ignoring everything and pretending it didn’t happen. There is something there or the story wouldn’t have come out in the first place and the league wouldn’t be adamant about clearing all the questions up.

  42. I am a Patriots fan, I cannot stand the Steelers as they have frequently been one of the Pats’ rivals for the AFC over the last 15 years, and I cannot stand Tomlin because I think he’s a whiner and he once tried to trip a player on the field.

    James Harrison is absolutely doing the right thing if he is innocent (also if he is guilty). After watching what was done to Brady based on absolutely no evidence, he has no reason to trust that anything the league does is on the up and up. The league argued and won (for now) the argument that they don’t need to conduct themselves fairly or honestly in order to suspend players arbitrarily.

    Goodell thought he was grabbing more power by going after Brady, and in the short term that may be true, but this is blowing up in his face spectacularly. More lawsuits are coming, and the NFL begged for it to happen.

  43. As a Pats fan I could be bitter enough to not support other teams or players in Goodell’s crosshairs.

    However I’m not going to take that road. Hope Harrison and the others refuse to cooperate with vile Goodell and force him back into court and embarrass him again.

  44. According to one report, the NFL has made seven different attempts to interview these players. SEVEN. If our boss/employer asked any of us to sit down and talk about and issue at work and we ignored it, what do you think would happen?

    I am tired of people ignoring authority. The owners hired Goodell and put him in charge of the league. As long as the owners are happy, Goodell will continue to run the league. He is the boss.

    If you have nothing to hide, do the interview with the league. If you don’t like it, quit and go away. Ignoring authority is the root of many issues in society today.

  45. I know a lot of you are still tap dancing in the streets about Brady, but are you all starting to see how outrageous Goodell & Co are? This has to be stopped.

  46. “If he really has nothing to hide, cooperate.”

    It’s amazing that anyone would say this after watching what happened the last two years to Tom Brady…

    Brady didn’t fully cooperate. That’s the problem and it is amazing how fans of the players overlook key reasons why the player was punished in the first place. Brady decided he didn’t want to talk anymore and destroyed evidence. What is so hard to understand here? Then some theory about footballs deflating on their own gets taken as irrefutable, ignoring the fact nothing remotely as drastic happened to the balls used by the opposing team. This is is not a witch hunt people. The league has to investigate accusations and things that don’t make sense. Does anyone honestly think they just wanted to make Brady look bad? How in the world would that help their product? They pursue these things so no precedent gets set that allows cheating to go on unpunished. You ignore it once and you have major problems in the future. If the players accused had just dealt with the accusations, or in Brady’s case just accepted the findings and taken the 1 game suspension or fine that would have been given, then things don’t reach this point in the first place.

  47. More Brady talk. Hilarious. Patriots fans are the most self absorbed. If Brady had just come out and admitted wrong doing then maybe he would be playing week 1. It’s the only way he could beat the Ravens was by cheating. All the fans, we know he did it. The Pats constantly cheated in that game. Steelers are the biggest cheaters and have the longest history of doing so outside of the Pats. Both are pathetic franchises.

  48. Unless they have turned up positive with the NFL’s own testing then they have no reason to answer anything. NFL once again overstepping it’s boundaries by interjecting itself in to an unsubstantiated report. NFLPA better do something about this next time the labor agreement comes up for negotiation. This time sit down and strike, hurts us as fans, but this commissioner and his stooges are on a power trip.

  49. I am not a Steelers fan and Harrison blurs the line between fair and illegal, BUT everyone should get in line behind him.

    All that you need to ruin someone is sue them.

  50. These aren’t unsubstantiated criminal claims. This is an ostensibly objective organization saying you’re cheating at your job! Your employer or his representative would be foolish not to investigate.

  51. I am certain all will be suspended.

    There is no doubt they all are Generally Aware that PEDs exist.

  52. “If he has nothing to hide, why not do the interview?”

    “Take your medicine like a man”

    “Why else would the NFL disgrace their celebrity players?”

    For those of us that have become pretty good at adulting and have spent more than an hour studying history, this PED shakedown is about as shocking as the Browns missing the playoffs.

    * There was no evidence cited in the conviction of Tom Brady. The NFL said as much in federal court
    * Most of the trouble Brady had to deal with was related to conduct during the investigation – this is why we have federal laws against self incrimination. I can interview anyone and claim they were not cooperative. (thus the concern of the PED individuals)
    * It was the NFL that brought the case to court, not Brady – most people forget this
    * This was all mapped out prior to deflategate. The NFL gave up cash in return for executive discretion on discipline. The NFL is now in the process of establishing the value of this executive right by causing pain to high profile players and establishing legal precedent.
    * Deflategate gave the NFL the nuclear bomb. Basically, all negotiated player rights are secondary to the whims of Goodell/the Owners.
    * The next CBA will cost the players exponentially more cash to remove the discretionary powers than they received in guaranteed payments in the current CBA
    * Goodell will earn more than $50M in given year between now and then

    Does Goodell and the emphasis on maximizing owner revenue at all costs make me want to puke? Yes. Do I think Goodell is an idiot? No. He’s more like the anti-Christ using buffoonery and misdirection to gain potentially billions for the owners at the cost of TB12 and future player salaries for years to come.

  53. Why? This was a report based on the words of an ex-intern who later recanted the whole thing. This didn’t come from a doctor, it came from an ex intern who would have no idea what went on. You don’t see the danger in going after players based on a very sketchy accusation by an untrustworthy person? That’s setting one heck of a precedent.

    I would say that the fact that the information came from someone who worked at the clinic gives it enough credibility to at least make it worth looking into. That’s why all these comments that say thing like “well ok Roger I accuse the whole league of using PEDs and now you have to investigate” are so stupid. I’m not sure how you know for a fact that he wouldn’t be privy to this information just because he was an intern. And you have no idea why he recanted his story. Maybe he was paid off. Maybe he was threatened with physical violence. Who knows?

    Oh and on a side note it disgusts me how you Pats fans try to make everything about yourselves and your team. This cheating and your teams cheating are two seperate issues

  54. wcman says:
    Aug 16, 2016 3:02 PM
    Rice was guilty as was Peterson. We don’t know for sure about Brady but there was a lot of reasons to believe he was too including destroying a phone that just so happened to be the one with the texts in question. That’s why the appellate courts reversed the decisions handed down by a clearly biased Judge.

    ================

    Of course Rice and Peterson were guilty, they never denied it either. It was Roger that lied and then moved the goal posts. The texts were not on Brady’s phone and the phone was not an issue until he told them he destroyed it at which point Goodell moved the goalposts again then lied about Brady’s testimony in his arbitration decision. Your bias however is made clear by your accusing a judge of bias while ignoring Goodell’s obligation to act without it as an arbitrator.

  55. Harrison has agreed to do an interview at his place. What does Goodell have to hide that he won’t go there? What is he afraid of if everything he does is on the up and up?

    Brady haters: give it up. It’s been proven Brady did nothing, he cooperated (Wells said so himself), and got rid of the phone 6 weeks after they told him they didn’t need it. They still nailed him, even after Judge Berman unsealed the transcript that proved Goodell lied.

    Good for the NFL. Congratulations. You can do whatever you want and don’t have to worry about facts. That’s a wonderful position to be in. Oh, is it shocking that players don’t trust you’ll give them a fair hearing? That now they raise a stink even over granting a simple interview?? Wow, I wonder what could have lead to that totally unforeseeable outcome! Hmmm.

  56. They should release the results of the Manning interviews first, then see where it goes.

  57. Why has Goodell believed Gomer under the same report, but now uses it to go after other players?

    Goodell has broken the record for apparently not being aware how badly he contradicts himself.

    I want to see the interview transcript of Peyton Manning, please.

    Season ticket holder since 1978 in my family.

    I am an NFL paying customer and I don’t believe Peyton Manning was ever investigated for using undetectable Chinese PEDs imported by Guyer.

    I also don’t believe the same penalty for admitting PEDs sent to your own home, was properly enforced last season like it should have been.

    Al Jazeera, interviews, etc, are not needed for Gomer since he confessed late last season and should have been immediately suspended.

    Arrest, try and convict Sheriff Goebbels for consumer fraud.

  58. wcman says:
    Aug 16, 2016 3:12 PM
    Does anyone honestly think they just wanted to make Brady look bad? How in the world would that help their product?
    _______________

    LMAO. No one believes “they just wanted to make Brady look bad.” What they wanted was the cudgel the courts handed them in the ensuing case that they are now applying here. Why else do you think they ran right to their court of choice when they had barely finished the process of announcing the original decision?

    Goodell and the owners idea of what helps the product is anything that helps it be more profitable. They swing that cudgel enough and not only will it cut down on future litigation but they will wring concessions out of the union in the next CBA negotiations. With all they had to gain from deflategate it’s surprising they didn’t invent it…

  59. Somebody could come out and say James Harrison is a pedophile,” Harrison said, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “They are going to suspend me, put me under investigation for being a pedophile just because somebody said it? I’m not going to answer questions for every little thing some Tom, Dick and Harry comes up with.”
    ———————————————–

    uh, yeah – I would hope so. Does he (or his supporters) even understand how are judicial system works?

  60. Don’t worry Steelers fans, Roger Goodell will treat James fairly. Just give him your cell phone Mr.Harrison and everything will be fine! I am sure he would be more than willing to turn it over if Goodell came to his house and asked for it! Don’t forget your hero is Roger Goodell Steelers fans! Enjoy

  61. Maust1013,

    Of course Rice and Peterson were guilty, they never denied it either. It was Roger that lied and then moved the goal posts. The texts were not on Brady’s phone and the phone was not an issue until he told them he destroyed it at which point Goodell moved the goalposts again then lied about Brady’s testimony in his arbitration decision. Your bias however is made clear by your accusing a judge of bias while ignoring Goodell’s obligation to act without it as an arbitrator.

    I’m not ignoring anything. There is a reason the NFLPA files any grievance they have in Minnesota. There are judges that are sympathetic to the cause while ignoring the law. That is why the decision were overturned in Appellate court.

    You also continue to skip over the fact that destroying a phone used in texts that are under investigation paints you in a negative light. Innocent people don’t try to hide or destroy evidence.

    The common theme from all the anti NFL/player apologists is to blame the process, when you should be questioning why players won’t simply cooperate and answer the questions. Not trusting the league is a cop out, and an obvious attempt to deflect attention away from the fact they just might be guilty and incriminate themselves if they actually have to explain their actions.

  62. The difference between Manning and Harrison is that sly never shipped the HGH himself. Manning had no relationship with Sly.

    Sly was however a or the dealer for Harrison. Not difficult to understand the difference.

    Perhaps Florio could elaborate further since I think he has studied law or something.

  63. jag1969,

    LMAO. No one believes “they just wanted to make Brady look bad.” What they wanted was the cudgel the courts handed them in the ensuing case that they are now applying here. Why else do you think they ran right to their court of choice when they had barely finished the process of announcing the original decision?

    They filed it in their court of choice before the players could file it in Minnesota. Even then there was no guarantee they would be successful and they weren’t, until it went to the appellate court.

    Goodell and the owners idea of what helps the product is anything that helps it be more profitable. They swing that cudgel enough and not only will it cut down on future litigation but they will wring concessions out of the union in the next CBA negotiations. With all they had to gain from deflategate it’s surprising they didn’t invent it…

    This make zero sense. What makes the league profitable is interest in the game. Interest in the game comes from watching players. Dragging one of the most popular players in the league through the court system for two years does not help you grow your fan base and increase profits. You do it because you can’t allow cheating or other offenses to go unpunished and set a precedent. The next round of CBA negotiations should be interesting, but the league wanted to retain power on punishment because it directly affects their product and bottom line.

  64. The common theme from all the anti NFL/player apologists is to blame the process, when you should be questioning why players won’t simply cooperate and answer the questions. Not trusting the league is a cop out, and an obvious attempt to deflect attention away from the fact they just might be guilty and incriminate themselves if they actually have to explain their actions.

    Dude. Brady did cooperate – Wells said so himself. He just didn’t want to hand over his phone, the NFL has no right to it. Favre didn’t turn his over when his phone was the only thing that mattered in the entire case! Wasn’t suspended. Gostkowski (Pats’ kicker) also refused to hand over his phone in the same investigation into deflategate, as the only other person concerned with ball preparation. Wasn’t suspended.

    Brady provided all relevant texts which matched all the texts they had already gotten. He didn’t “destroy evidence” – he got a new phone. All of this – everything you’ve said – is exactly why James Harrison and the others *should* refuse to cooperate with any NFL investigation. Completely innocent coincidences are twisted into a nefarious plot if that’s how the NFL wants it, and the courts suddenly decided that’s perfectly ok, no amount of fairness should be expected.

  65. Of course he is guilty, it’s the Steeler and Patriot way! This guy is hot garbage and the sooner the league does away with cheaters like him and Brady, the better.

  66. Goodell must have his powers reduced.
    He is an enlightened despot.
    He should not be the disciplinarian.
    Let him be the glad-hander, the schmoozer and nothing else.

  67. Just because you don’t cooperate doesn’t mean you’re guilty. I got stopped at a checkpoint last week. The officer asked me what was in the cooler on my back seat? I replied wouldn’t you like to know. He asked if I would open it for him. I said nope & you don’t have probable cause to open it. They let me go without looking. What was in the cooler? Three cans of soda.

  68. I SERIOUSLY doubt any judge in the U.S. would side with Goodell on this issue. He has no proof of any wrong doing, but believes an accusation by an unreliable reporter who relied on the unreliable & since recanted statements of a ‘snake-oil salesman’ as justification for a suspension? Or, that the players who have been accused by said questionable source are somehow obligated to prove innocence…as if they could prove innocence of something that supposedly transpired a couple of years ago. Seriously Goodell? Your eyes see nothing but brown your head is so far up your @$$ on this one.

    I agree this sets a dangerous president, as stated in the article…that could allow the league to hire someone to accuse any player of anything they might like to just to launch an investigation, whenever the league decides they don’t like someone. Yes, it would be easily resolved using the “wasn’t me” over & over…but it’s stupid to suggest that is appropriate.

  69. James Harrison has more integrity in one of his fingernail clippings than Roger Goodell has in his entire miserable being. What an execrable excuse for a commissioner…

  70. musicprogramming,

    He just didn’t want to hand over his phone, the NFL has no right to it.

    I’m singling out this point in your post because it’s an example of exactly what I’m talking about. If you are innocent, let them see the phone. There was no reason to destroy it and every reason to keep it for evidence. The rights excuse is garbage. It was part of the investigation and that makes it potentially something the investigator would like to examine. Brady isn’t an idiot. He dumped the phone right after this hit the fan for a reason.

    This isn’t even about Brady but it’s amazing how many people come to his defense when there is clear wrong doing on his part in cooperation with the investigation.

  71. When did James Harrison become defender of social causes? He is a guy who has single handedly contributed much to CTE and the maiming of his fellow colleagues with intentionally targeting head and knees aplenty. Talk about “steroid rage”. He also disregarded safety protocols for his then 2 yr old child resulting in his son being bitten by a pet Rottweiler. Child abuse anyone?
    That’s James Harrison and he deserves what’s coming to him. Of course he may take the coward route and retire.

  72. wcman says:
    Aug 16, 2016 3:12 PM
    “If he really has nothing to hide, cooperate.”

    It’s amazing that anyone would say this after watching what happened the last two years to Tom Brady…

    Brady didn’t fully cooperate. That’s the problem and it is amazing how fans of the players overlook key reasons why the player was punished in the first place. Brady decided he didn’t want to talk anymore and destroyed evidence. What is so hard to understand here? Then some theory about footballs deflating on their own gets taken as irrefutable, ignoring the fact nothing remotely as drastic happened to the balls used by the opposing team. This is is not a witch hunt people. The league has to investigate accusations and things that don’t make sense. Does anyone honestly think they just wanted to make Brady look bad? How in the world would that help their product? They pursue these things so no precedent gets set that allows cheating to go on unpunished. You ignore it once and you have major problems in the future. If the players accused had just dealt with the accusations, or in Brady’s case just accepted the findings and taken the 1 game suspension or fine that would have been given, then things don’t reach this point in the first place.

    5 18
    Report comment

    ———————-

    First off, you’re wrong on several fronts. You keep making assertions that Brady would have gotten a 1 game suspension or fine if he hadn’t “destroyed evidence” when in fact he had already been suspended for four games. Wells had told Brady he didn’t need the phone, and said he had answered all the questions asked of him (under oath). The phone became an issue to Goodell at the appeal hearing not during the investigation. Brady was appealing a suspension that had already been handed down. To say that was a reason for the suspension is asinine and very uninformed. You also assert that the Colts balls hadn’t lost pressure to the same degree as the Pat’s balls. This too is wrong. You do understand that, as stated in the Wells report, the Patriots balls were initially inflated to 12.5 psi while the colts balls started at 13 psi? I’m not going to go into other particulars because if you haven’t read or understood them after two and a half years, you’re probably not going to understand them now.
    I long for the days when people who didn’t know what they were talking about stayed quiet.

  73. The Commissioner has been after this player for a long time. It’s a bit obvious that he holds a grudge. The player is tested regularly and has never failed a test. The player has stood up to the Commissioner at every turn, it has gotten under his skin. The team he plays for was the only team that didn’t agree with the CBA. The Commissioner hasn’t forgotten this.

  74. If you are innocent, let them see the phone. There was no reason to destroy it and every reason to keep it for evidence. The rights excuse is garbage. It was part of the investigation and that makes it potentially something the investigator would like to examine.
    —————————–

    * Phone was requested after the investigation not during. Brady fully cooperated with the investigation and Wells specifically said the phone was not needed.

    * Did everyone forget the fun we had laughing at Brady’s email where he flips out over the wrong color of his pool cover? Or how overblown his “Peyton has 1 0r 2 more years left and he’s done” comment was for 48 hours? Do you think he might have blasted a teammate or two in his texts or emails to close friends and relatives?

    Can’t imagine why he would be so protective of his private communications.

  75. Wasn’t it a lot better when all major sports just looked the other way when it came to PEDs? Sure, we all want fairness in sports, especially the players, but when that desire for fairness becomes public witch-hunts, going after players that never tested positive for anything, and the only shred of “evidence” is an ambiguous article, the publisher of which has already been sued multiple times for libel? I kind of understood the Brady thing, even though it was stupid and petty and handled in the worst way possible. The Patriots had been caught cheating before, and here we go again. This feels like Goodell is just doing it because he can, regardless of logic or fairness. He isn’t going away anytime soon, but hopefully the players can get a better deal next time the CBA is negotiated.

  76. wcman says:
    Aug 16, 2016 5:22 PM

    If you are innocent, let them see the phone. There was no reason to destroy it and every reason to keep it for evidence.

    This isn’t even about Brady but it’s amazing how many people come to his defense when there is clear wrong doing on his part in cooperation with the investigation.
    ++++++

    Yet when the league reviewed his emails his preference in pool covers and a response to a friend about Manning’s career longevity were made public. How on Earth could you expect him to trust them with anything after that? One of the most visible players in sports married to the world’s foremost supermodel, yeah there’s no chance the unrelated contents of that phone would have gotten out after his email communications were handled with such discretion.

    This isn’t about Brady? How myopic, it’s the ill gotten precedent the Brady case put in the league’s hands that is being abused here. No response to the repeated and verifiable instances of Goodell lying about interviews and testimony as wrongdoing but you are amazed when people come to the defense of Brady because they have no trust in the proven liar persecuting him?

    Please take a closer look, you have been duped

  77. BlindSquirrel,

    Yeah I’m familiar with the story, and I’m talking about if Brady had been upfront about what happened from the beginning, he likely wouldn’t have gotten 4 games. I understand you can’t accept the idea that your hero did this, but not everyone shares your view.

    I also have read every pats fans attempt to exonerate Brady by using any and all desperate measures, most of which are theories that are not infalible, while ignoring the evidence that incriminated him. The balls did not deflate equally. Brady destroyed a phone that had texts that were in question on them. The texts themselves led to the likelyhood Brady would have known about it.

    This topic is not about Brady anyway. He’s going to serve a 4 game suspension. This is about players trying to deflect attention away from something they could resolve quickly simply by answering a few questions. Innocent people have nothing to hide and no reason not to cooperate.

  78. spartanlegend says:
    _”Let Harrison stand on principle and sit out indefinitely. It will only hurt he and his team.
    I’m not as familiar with Neal but it’s very, very obvious that Harrison, Peppers and Matthews are PED users. Looks like Harrison’s attitude with the commissioner is going to come back and bite him. Either that or he’s going to sit for the interview and I can guarantee you it won’t be at his house. “_

    You sir, sound very resolute with your strong condemnation of these players.
    I’d be very interested in seeing any credible proof you might have
    concerning James Harrison, PED’s and the defiant stance he is taking.
    You mock him for his principled stance, and make strong accusations
    alleging PED use. Please share with us upon what do you base your
    strongly worded condemnation on.

    Your moniker, ‘spartanlegend’ invokes a land and a people who
    were/are strong, fiercely proud and independent. Ones who
    have too often been faced with fighting off subjugation by
    countless invaders, marauders and unprincipled rulers to
    regain/maintain their free will.

    Your views seem to be anathema to this heritage of ‘freedom or
    give me death’, pride, justice, and self-sacrifice to defend that
    which you love and hold sacred.
    How do you square your beliefs, and yet condemn a man for defending
    his principles against baseless, unjust and spurious charges?
    I don’t know what your affiliation to the Spartan Spirit truly is, but I look
    forward to your reply, and reasoned proof of your strong condemnation.

  79. ““Somebody could come out and say James Harrison is a pedophile,” Harrison said, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “They are going to suspend me, put me under investigation for being a pedophile just because somebody said it? I’m not going to answer questions for every little thing some Tom, Dick and Harry comes up with.”

    This. Times 100.

  80. Harrison has a point. Someone came out with allegations. Later, the person making the allegations said they lied and fabricated the story. The NFL wants players to prove their innocence? Even when no proof of guilt is submitted? I think the whole NFLPA should threaten to wildcat strike over the NFL’s strong arm tactics. This power trip by Goodell is getting ridiculous.

  81. Maybe if Goodell handled Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Tom Brady, Deflategate, Bountygate, and every other issue properly and with some–ahem–integrity, maybe these players and the NFLPA wouldn’t be so reluctant to cooperate. The league itself has set it up so that every league investigation or test result will be challenged and dragged out because at this point, NOBODY on the players side trusts the league. Just sayin’.

  82. All this calls for players Boycotting every single game until Roger Goodell is permanently removed from the NFL never to return again.

    If im the NFLPA, Im telling the players, men its come time to take a stand.

  83. Wc man- if only Tom had been up front about what happened? You mean when the NFL lied about the PSI levels!!! How could he be up front about a LIE??? The NFL lied! What’s your response to the erroneous PSI levels??
    Besides science PROVES there was no tampering!

  84. wcman,

    I know no one (except me!) wants to get into another proof Brady that he didn’t do anything wrong, but every single piece of “evidence” against him has either been proven false or at worst can be explained away.

    Re: the actual footballs, deflating at “different rates”. There was no record of what the initial psi was for any single football. Walt Anderson simply remembered that the Patriots were 12.5, the Colts were 13. I doubt – in the extreme – that he carefully made sure they were exact to within less than a tenth of a psi. In this instance, the NFL took Walt at his word because he is after all an infallible referee.

    There were two cheap, dollar store pressure gauges used. When tested in the same ball – as recorded at halftime – the two gauges were off by 0.3 to 0.45 psi from *each other*… remember, these were both considered official gauges. To Walt’s (previously) infallible recollection, he used the gauge that read higher. If the numbers are calculated with that assumption, the expected pressure of the Patriots’ footballs falls down the middle of where they measured at halftime according to the ideal gas law.

    Despite this being the best recollection of Walt Anderson, accomplished NFL referee and infallibly correct on the measurement of 24 footballs to < .05 psi precision despite no record, the NFL, Wells, and the "science" lab they used decided, "Nah." Anderson, accomplished NFL referee, must be incorrect in his recollection, even though the part you insert into the football (the needle) was WAY longer on the one he remembered using. And it was bent. And it had a logo on it that the other did not. Otherwise totally indistinguishable from each other.

    Wait, it gets better.

    Even if you insist that Walt The Infallible (Sometimes) was mistaken and he used the gauge that read lower – when you run the numbers through that pesky ideal gas law, the result is STILL within a gnat's fart of where you'd expect the pressure to be. On the low end, granted, but close enough given the huge number of unknown variables (see note). As detailed in the league edited yet totally independent report itself, the science demands that the pressure inside the footballs change over time as they acclimate to a new temperature (inside the locker room, as opposed to a January evening outside in Foxboro). Since they could not simultaneously measure all 24 footballs (or 15 as they actually tested), the pressures will definitely change over time.

    Note: Huge number of unknown variables:
    * Temperature in the locker rooms before the game
    * Temperature in the ref's locker room at halftime
    * Whether any of the footballs were wet at halftime
    * How long the footballs sat around before being tested at halftime (twice each)
    * Whether or not Walt used the same gauge on each set of team balls before the game
    * Why one football read opposite the other footballs on the two gauges
    * Whether Tom Brady's scorching hot passing hand had any effect on the ball pressure as he shredded the Colts' defense as if… well, as if it was the Colts' defense.

    And…. scene.

  85. uncommon1 says:
    Aug 16, 2016 2:08 PM

    I’m a member of a Union. If someone made an accusation against me

    ————-

    NO ONE has made any accusations against anyone. Someone was gossiping/bragging not realizing his conversation was being recorded. When asked about it he said he was just bragging and it wasn’t true.

    Big difference between that and what you describe.

  86. Maust1013 says:
    Aug 16, 2016 2:35 PM
    RegisHawk says:
    Aug 16, 2016 2:11 PM
    That little speech will play well to the Lowest Common Denominator, which is why they don’t run things.
    —————————-

    Well that and they are too busy being 12’s.

    =================

    The LCD has spoken.

  87. For all those saying if they weren’t hiding something why wouldn’t they just do the interview. It’s about their rights to protect themselves and under the CBA there are no grounds to do an interview other than Goodell saying so. Goodell is the judge, jury, and executioner. He can take anything they say and twist it to fit what he wants and suspend them. I hope Harrison doesn’t talk to them. I hope he goes to the interview and just looks straight through Goodell the entire time not saying a word.

  88. Relax everybody…… It’s not like these guys “More likely than not” knew about someone deflating a football! This is just PEDs we’re talking about.

    Goodell, leave these guys alone and let them play.

    PS: Please come to Gillette this year. You’ll get a hero’s welcome….. Really.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.