The NFL Should Not Fine James Harrison

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has some interesting things to say about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He severely rips into him in a recent interview with Men’s Journal magazine, calling him a crook and a devil. Harrison then goes on to call him a dictator and a puppet (can you be both?), he even drops a gay slur about Goodell. I wonder what fine the NFL will give the oft-fined Harrison this time?

In my opinion he shouldn’t be fined. In my opinion he can’t be fined. It dosen’t matter if you think what he said makes him a prick or not, I’m sure Harrison will be the first to tell you he’s an asshole. And it dosen’t really matter if you take issue with him using a gay slur. Does that make him a bad person? That’s your call. But how can someone that technically isn’t employed get fined?  Who has the authority to issue a fine?

Much like my recent take on Chad Ochocinco, I don’t see how any one can take Harrison to task for his actions when he’s locked out. Does a locked out contracted employee have an obligation to abide by what ever good character type clause he may have in his contract? I don’t think so.

The Rooney family that owns the Pittsburgh Steelers, along with the other 31 NFL owners, decided to lockout the players. They have no right to fine anyone. From ESPN;

In a statement released Wednesday, Steelers president Art Rooney II said he hasn’t read the article or spoken to Harrison. “We will discuss the situation at the appropriate time, when permitted once the labor situation is resolved,” he said.

Are you kidding me?  Once the labor situation is resolved you’ll address it?  Something someone said, someone that YOU told to go away, says something you deem inappropriate, while he was locked out, and you feel the need to address it? He didn’t break any laws, he just spoke his mind. And since Harrison is locked out, I don’t think he has to answer to the NFL either.

Harrison had a lot to say in the interview, and believe it or not he makes a lot of valid points. As for which points those were, you’ll have to decide for yourself.

About the author


Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.

Lester has been a writer and now an editor of Windy City Gridiron since 2009 covering all things Chicago Bears. He's been writing about sports, and occasionally crossing into the entertainment genre, on We Got This Covered since March of 2011.