John Harbaugh Issues Statement Clarifying Comments, Says Patriots ‘Earned’ Championships


May 1, 2012

John Harbaugh Issues Statement Clarifying Comments, Says Patriots 'Earned' ChampionshipsJohn Harbaugh was believed to have criticized the Patriots during a radio appearance on Tuesday, but the Ravens head coach says his words have been distorted.

Harbaugh appeared on Baltimore's 98 Rock on Tuesday morning, and was asked about the mess that the Saints are in, at which point he seemed to refer to the Patriots' Super Bowl wins as "stained." As one would expect, that created quite the buzz, which the Ravens coach says shouldn't be the case.

Harbaugh released the following statement on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Ravens official team website, to clarify his comments.

"While on the 98 Rock show this morning to talk about the run to honor O.J. Brigance and raise funds for ALS research, I answered a question about playing within the rules and referred to the perception that the Super Bowl championships won by the Patriots and Saints have a stain. My reference was to the perception out there that came as the result of the league's actions.

"I could have been more clear that I was referring to those viewpoints. I totally believe that the Patriot and Saint coaches and players earned those championships. Bill [Belichick] and Sean [Payton] both know that.

"There has been some distortion about what I said.

"The original tweet indicated I pointed the finger at Bill Belichick and mentioned Bill's name. I did not. I have so much respect for Coach Belichick and the job he does and has accomplished in his Hall of Fame career. I called him to remind him of my respect for him. I also reached out to Tedy Bruschi, who rightfully defended those Patriot players and coaches on ESPN, to tell him that I agree with him that the Patriots earned every victory."

The Patriots and Ravens, who met in the AFC Championship last season, are set to square off in Baltimore in Week 3 on Sept. 23.

Click here for the audio of Harbaugh's radio appearance on Tuesday >>

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