Bernard Pollard will not be joining the Baltimore Ravens on their ceremonial trip to the White House for winning the Super Bowl. The reason has nothing to do with politics, a la Tim Thomas. Instead, Pollard is apparently upset with the organization for reasons that aren't entirely clear to anyone:
"It's not my teammates," Pollard said. "It's not my teammates at all. I would celebrate with them any time, any day of the week I would celebrate with them. But at the end of the day, I know what happened, I know what took place. I'm sorry, I just don't want to be in the room with certain people."
Pollard will be on vacation with his family instead, though he said that even if he didn't have an excuse he would not join his former teammates. His beef doesn't have anything to do with general manager Ozzie Newsome or owner Steve Bisciotti. Pollard credited both men for giving him an opportunity to play in Baltimore.
That leaves head coach John Harbaugh. Pollard referenced an incident where Harbaugh solicited opinions from his players during a team meeting following a 30-point loss to the Houston Texans last season. As Pollard tells it, Harbaugh didn't like what the safety had to say, and may have urged Pollard's release as a result:
"I'm just a player where you ask me my opinion, I'm gonna tell you. And for you to get upset or whatever afterwards, you know, you asked me. That's that. We were just asked our opinion about something. And we let the coach know our opinion. It was us as players. We were asked, the floor was open. And we responded, and let the coaches know how we felt, and that's how it has to be as a football team. We can't walk around on eggshells as a football team."
Pollard has a reputation for being perhaps too outspoken in locker rooms. He hasn't spent more than three seasons in any one place, perhaps for good reason. That said, until anyone is able to address what happened directly, it is difficult to say who is in the wrong.