James Harrison is willing to show all of his cards.
The Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker agreed to meet with NFL investigators regarding performance-enhancing drug allegations made against him in an Al-Jazeera report back in January. The agreement comes on the heels of the league threatening to suspend Harrison and three others for “conduct detrimental” if they fail to comply with the NFL’s interview requests, even if it can’t be proven that any of the players actually used PEDs.
“If it goes to conduct detrimental, it leans to the hands of that crook — I mean (NFL commissioner) Roger Goodell — and he can do whatever he wants,” Harrison said Thursday night after the Steelers’ preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to USA TODAY. “That’s just the collective bargaining agreement that the players signed.”
The NFL requested to meet with Harrison, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers of the Green Bay Packers and free-agent linebacker Mike Neal about their connection to the Al-Jazeera report, which also mentioned retired quarterback Peyton Manning, among others.
Harrison agreed to meet with the NFL on Aug. 30 — five days after the Aug. 25 interview deadline set by the NFL — at the Steelers’ team facility. He also requested that he only be asked questions about the portion of the Al-Jazeera report in which he appears.
It’s unclear at this point whether Harrison’s terms will satisfy the NFL’s requests, but the 38-year-old has a bold idea to ensure everyone sees how everything really unfolds if and when a meeting takes place.
“Whatever evidence they might have or reasoning for questioning for me is out of my control, I don’t know,” Harrison said, per USA TODAY. “I wouldn’t have a problem with it being filmed live. I’ve been prosecuted and persecuted publicly in the media by them for something I didn’t do, so I don’t see why we couldn’t have the media there and do a live interview. They can ask the questions and I can answer them, and y’all can see whatever evidence it is they say they got.”
Harrison clearly feels like he has nothing to hide in this situation. If that’s the case, why not put the whole meeting out there for everyone to see?
It’s your move, Roger.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images