The James Harrison story won't be dying today. The Steelers LB gave an interview to Men's Journal and portions of the story were released on Wednesday morning. Deadspin has acquired a few more nuggets from the interview where Harrison continues to blast a few people around the league, especially NFL Commissioner Roger Goodel.
Check out the full set of quotes at Deadspin but there are a few interesting points among the various quotes.
First, the gay slur is identified. The league won't like that. Players have been disciplined in the past for using discriminatory language. For example, Joey Porter was fined $10,000 in 2006 and Larry Johnson was suspended for a pair of similar instances. But can Harrison be fined for his words? The NFL is currently locked out and we don't know the consequences of things like this during a lockout. The league has said the personal conduct policy is still intact during the lockout while the players obviously disagree. How that particular issue turns out could determine whether Harrison faces discipline for his comments.
Second, Harrison indicates that, even after receiving $100,000 in fines over the course of the season for illegal hits, Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau told him not to change anything he does.
"That's what we're told by Coach LeBeau - blow through the guy, not to him. When the fines came down he said, 'Don't change a damn thing.' You're doing it the way we do it on this team."
The league has been pretty sensitive to how illegal hits are taught and perceived so I can't imagine they'll like this.
Third, Harrison actually has a decent point here:
"They take 10 plays out of 4,000 snaps and want to know my thought process on each. 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?"
But of course the name-calling and saying he enjoys hurting people hurts his point.