NFL Picks: Harrison Issues Mea Culpa for Comments on Steelers, Goodell

Hyderabad, India (PressExposure) July 15, 2011 -- NFL Picks: When the self-inflicted controversy swirling around him, Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker James Harrison went into damage control mode on Thursday night, releasing a statement to apologize to some of the comments made in an interview.

Harrison gave his opinion through Facebook and Twitter, explains the thinking behind some of his scathing comments during a span of four days in May and August, a printed edition of Men's Journal.

But Harrison first order of business was to respond to comments he made about teammate Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mende Hall. The linebacker was critical "performance in the Steelers lost two players from Super Bowl XLV in Green Bay Packers, said Roethlisberger, who threw two interceptions in the game," Hand the ball and stop acting like Peyton Manning "Mende Hall and call a" search machine "because of its revenue in the fourth quarter.

"I did make comments about my teammates when I was talking about the emotional Super Bowl loss, but the handful of words that were used and heavily publicized yesterday were pulled out of a long conversation and the context was lost," Harrison said in the statement, which was first obtained by Josina Anderson of Denver's KDVR-TV. " It 'clear that I would never say it was all because of Ben, or Rashard we lost the Super Bowl. It would be ridiculous. Both Ben and Rashard are great players and good teammates.

"Clearly the entire team bears responsibility for the loss, me included. It was a team effort and a team loss. My teammates know me well, and hopefully understand the things I said were not meant to accuse them of the loss. We all have discussed several things that went wrong in the Super Bowl since that day. What I do apologize for and take full responsibility for is for speaking in such a candid manner to someone outside the team."

ESPN announced Wednesday that Harrison called Roethlisberger and explained his comments. Roethlisberger told ESPN that Harrison said Paul Solotaroff, author of the article, twisted his words, and its purpose was not to criticize the quarterback. Roethlisberger said that it will take the word of Harrison, and their relationship is "good."

"Everything's cool between us, so I have told James that whatever he needs to do to get right with Ben is good by me," Solotaroff said Thursday on the "Dave Dameshek Football Program" on NFL.com. "And, you know, James has three years left on that very lucrative deal. I think he fully intends to see it out. I'm not sure he intends to play another minute after those three years are up. But, three years, he has to share a sideline and locker room with Big Ben."

Even if Harrison also said negative things about Brian Cushing Linebacker Houston Texans, and former New England Patriots players Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi, Linebacker reserved most of his vitriol for Goodell, which he called "rogue" and "Devil." Harrison also said the article, Goodell, "I hate him and will never respect him."

Harrison Goodell apologized in the statement, instead of explaining the context in which used a homophobic term to refer to the Commissioner.

"I also need to make clear that the comment about Roger Goodell was not intended to be derogatory against gay people in any way," Harrison wrote. "It was careless use of a slang word, and I apologize to all who were offended by the remark. I am not a homophobic bigot, and I would never advocate intolerance of gay people."

Harrison explained that much of his frustration comes from league rules that in his opinion, erroneous best. He received $ 100 000 fines in the league last season for flagrant hits.

"I think the league has felt increasing pressure on injuries and concussions last year, and they panicked and set rules that are not fully thought out," Harrison wrote. "I do not defend more flags and fines, I'm just saying that the current rules are not quite right, and I do not think the way the league is handling his position as supervisor of the NFL and the welfare of their players.

"As far as the character and reputation hits I may suffer as a result of my comments in the article, I'll take those hits and more if it brings increased attention to the re-examination and installation of rules and regulations that would create a REAL impact on player safety."

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Press Release Submitted On: July 15, 2011 at 4:12 am
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