Most Read: Sports
The Early Lead
Posted at 04:53 PM ET, 07/13/2011

James Harrison’s incendiary comments drawing ire of fellow NFL players

(See how NFL players are reacting to James Harrison’s inflamatory comments here.)

According to ESPN’s Merril Hoge, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger received a phone call from teammate James Harrison earlier today in which Harrison explained the shocking comments he made during an interview with Men’s Journal.
James Harrison is proving he can hit just as hard in an interview room as he can on the field. (Men’s Journal)

Earlier: James Harrison calls Roger Goodell “devil,” “dictator,” insults Ben Roethlisberger in magazine interview

Here’s my best guess at how that conversation played out...

Roethlisberger: Hello?

Harrison: Hey buddy, it’s the Hit Man.

BR: Excuse me?

JH: You know, THE HIT MAN...? ...? It’s James Harrison, dude.

BR: Oh, hey! what’s up, man?

JH: Hey, so I just wanted to give you a heads up — you might hear some news about me calling you out in next month’s Men’s Journal.

BR: You called me out? For what?

JH: Well, I might have said you made the defense have to bail you out again by throwing that second interception in the Super Bowl.

BR: What?!?

JH: Also, I might have said you should “stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain’t that and you it, man; you just get paid like he does.”

BR: Are you kidding me?!?!?

JH: No. Well, sort of... Maybe? Hey man, they took it all out of context and twisted my words. Also, I may have called Roger Goodell some nasty names. Anyway, I didn’t mean any of it... I still love you... We cool?

BR: Um... Yeah, OK... I guess, we’re cool.

<end scene>

While it sounds like Big Ben may have patched things up, other NFL players have not been quick to jump to the former defensive player of the year’s defense. And some are downright ticked off...

Here are the Twitter comments from Meril “keeper of the peace” Hoge on the situation.

James Harrison called Ben Roethlisberger this morning to explain his comments in the upcoming issue of Men's Journalless than a minute ago via Twitterrific Favorite Retweet Reply

According 2 Roethlisberger, Harrison claims that the writer twisted many of his comments around and it was not his intent 2criticize the QBless than a minute ago via Twitterrific Favorite Retweet Reply

Roethlisberger told Hoge that he is taking Harrison at his word and that their relationship is "fine".less than a minute ago via Twitterrific Favorite Retweet Reply

What about Rashard Mendenhall? Is he “fine”? Has anyone checked in with the Steelers running back who Harrison affectionately called a “fumble machine” for his fourth-quarter Super Bowl slip-up?

It appears he’s of the sticks-and-stones mold as well.

And lastly, I dont have a problem with what @jharrison9292 said because I know him. But I want you guys 2 check this out than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

And how about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell who took the brunt of the punishment? Harrison called the commish the following: “crook,” “devil,” “dictator,” “puppet,” <anti-gay slur> and “stupid.” Has Harrison called him yet? Doubtful...

You know who isn’t “fine” with all of this? Chicago Bears defensive end Ervin Baldwin, that’s who.

Man just seen James Harrison comments dude is a goon... #tellEmHowUFeelless than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply

Chicago Bears defensive back Chris Harris didn’t pipe up when the Harrison’s comments lit the Internet world ablaze Wednesday morning. But when he heard Harrison was back-peddling from them later in the day Harris — who coincidentally goes by the moniker “Hitman Harris” — had to say something.

What happen to the good ole days when athletes actually owned up to their comments n didn't back pedal on them faster than Usain Bolt runsless than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply

Washington Post Hard Hits blogger and former Pro Bowl linebacker LaVar Arrington said Harrison’s comments went way over the line and make him “a horrible example to the people who look up to him.”

Steelers teammate Ryan Clark is under the impression that this is just James being James...

"@jemelehill: When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong, Steelers LB James Harrison" He's just James! You know what youre gettingless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

Meanwhile, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is just happy he’s not the one waiting to be called into Goodell’s office when the lockout is eventually lifted.

Mr. Harrison is upset n it wasn't me this time RT @espnnfl: Steelers' LB James Harrison blasts Goodell in interview: than a minute ago via RockLive Favorite Retweet Reply

Houston Texans inside linebacker Brian Cushing — who Harrison said was “juiced out of his mind” — elected to take the high road and kept things short and sweet. When contacted by the Houston Chronicle Cushing simply said: “I’ll pray for him.”

What was your initial reaction to James Harrison’s remarks?

By  |  04:53 PM ET, 07/13/2011

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company