TAG | James Harrison
James Harrison, linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers who has been under fire for a scathing interview he did in Men’s Journal, issued an apology today, posted on Twitter by NFL reporter Josina Anderson.
In his apology, Harrison stated, “the handful of words that were used and heavily publicized yesterday were pulled out of a long conversation and the context was lost.” He better backtrack on his remarks because he had a slew of critical remarks directed at his teammates.
He also included this homophobic bit directed at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in response discussing fines Harrison received for excessively dangerous hits (see Men’s Journal article page 2):
“They take 10 plays out of 4,000 snaps and want to know my thought process on each,” he says. “What I tried to explain to Goodell, but he was too stupid to understand, is that dudes crouch when you go to hit them. With Massaquoi, my target area was his waist and chest, but he lowered himself at the last possible second and I couldn’t adjust to his adjustment. But Goodell, who’s a devil, ain’t hearing that. Where’s the damn discretion, the common sense?”
He goes on in cold fury, spitting curses and charges, none of which will earn him sympathy from the “devil” or endorsements for Double Stuf Oreos. “Faggot Goodell” (also described as a “punk” and “dictator” by Harrison), Anderson (“another dummy who never played a down”), and Hanks, a former Pro Bowl safety with the Niners (“he needs to be ashamed because he played D before, though he never was what you’d call a real hitter”), conspired, he says, to target the Steelers, who have “too much force, too much swag, and are predominantly black.”
In regards to use of “faggot,” Harrison included this in his apology:
I also need to make clear that the comment about Roger Goodell was not intended to be derogatory against gay people in any way. 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.
Yes, Harrison was careless. Yes, Harrison apologized. Is Harrison a homophobic bigot? I can’t say for certain.
But mostly, I’m sick of athletes—or anyone for that matter—saying that using “faggot” is not intended to be derogatory. No matter your intent, it IS derogatory and needs to stop.