James Harrison has barely been able to hide his contempt for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Harrison has been fined more than any other NFL player for illegal hits on the field ($100,000+). He blames Goodell and the new rules he’s enacted since he gained power for all of his fines. Speaking with Men’s Journal last summer, Harrison made some statements he’d eventually be forced to apologize for:
“But up until last year, there was no word of me being dirty – till Roger Goodell, who’s a crook and a puppet, said I was the dirtiest player in the league. If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it. I hate him and will never respect him.”
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) …
As stated above, Harrison would come to apologize for those harsh words. However, his opinion of Goodell has not been swayed. Speaking with the Tribune-Review this week, Harrison was asked about New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma’s lawsuit against the Commissioner:
“It’s a win-win. If he (Vilma) loses, it shows Goodell does have too much power,” Harrison said following an offseason practice, “and if he wins, it opens up the floodgates.”
Obviously, Harrison’s views are little jaded due to the amount of fines and suspensions he’s dealt with over the last few seasons. But this is the reality of the New NFL. Roger Goodell has his work cut out for him if he really wants to attempt to bring civility to the relationship between some of the League’s star players and the NFL’s front offices.