James Harrison uses anti-gay slur, among other insults, to describe Roger Goodell [Updated]
James Harrison reveals his true feelings for Roger Goodell in the August issue of Men's Journal, calling the NFL commissioner an anti-gay slur, as well as a "crook," a "devil," a "dictator" and other insults.
“I hate him and will never respect him,” the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker and 2008 AP defensive player of the year told the magazine.
[Updated at 9:57 a.m.: Steelers President Art Rooney II said he hadn't seen the article or talked to Harrison. “We will discuss the situation at the appropriate time, when permitted once the labor situation is resolved,” he said in a statement Wednesday.]
Harrison, whose $100,000 in fines for illegal hits last year made him the most heavily fined player in a single season, told the magazine that if the Steelers had defeated the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV in February he would have whispered in Goodell's ear during the trophy ceremony: “Why don't you quit and do something else, like start your own league in flag football?”
Harrison, who posed for the magazine shirtless while holding his own guns across his chest, has plenty of venom left over for others, including teammates Rashard Mendenhall and Ben Roethlisberger for their roles in the Super Bowl loss.
He called Mendenhall a "fumble machine" and said of Roethlisbeger: “Hey, at least throw a pick on their side of the field instead of asking the D to bail you out again. Or hand the ball off and stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain’t that and you know it, man; you just get paid like he does.”
Harrison's comments surfaced just days after teammate Hines Ward was arrested on a drunk driving charge and during the same off-season that Mendenhall made news with his controversial tweets about Osama bin Laden and 9/11.
-- Chuck Schilken
The Associated Press and Sports Xchange contributed to this report.
Photo: James Harrison in 2009. Credit: Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press