James Harrison Needs to Stop Whining and Start Playing According to the Rules

I am sick of Harrison’s whining. I am sick of his friends backing him up. It is a simple situation: He is not playing according to the rules.

In a recent interview, he made the following statements:

  • “It angers me, of course, that they’re taking absurd amounts of money from me for plays that I consider to be clean and legal hits.”
  • I’m not playing dirty.”
  • “I’m not doing anything that’s outside the lines. … There’s nothing malicious or illegal about the way I’m playing or I’m tackling guys, so I’m going to continue to play the way I’m playing.”

Obviously, he is absolutely wrong. He was fined again by the league for a hit on Ryan Fitzpatrick for a very clear reason. He led with his helmet. Nobody teaches players to lead with their helmet when tackling. In fact, players are taught to keep their heads up when tackling because of the injuries that they can sustain to their necks.

I would also like to point out that in an interview back on Oct 17th, Harrison said he tries to hurt other players. As a Denver Bronco fan, I remember very clearly how Harrison hit Kyle Orton on a play where Orton was on the ground. Harrison ran at him at full speed and drove his body directly into Orton’s back as he laid on the ground face down. How is that even close to being acceptable?

In this article, http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-steelers-defendingharrison, Harrison’s teammates believe that he is “being repeatedly punished because his intense hitting potentially endangers some of the NFL’s marquee players.” Sure, that is part of it. He hits hard, but he hits hard when it is not necessary and he hits hard by using his helmet. I have no doubt that Harrison is being repeated punished because he is putting the health of other players at risk. If anything, his friends and teammates should be working hard to make Harrison understand that his behavior is totally unacceptable.

In the meantime, Harrison needs to do two things:

  1. Stop his inappropriate behavior that clearly shows his complete disregard for the health of other players.
  2. Shut up about how the NFL is targeting him inappropriately.
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