James Harrison calls Roger Goodell 'crook,' welcomes NFL probe
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has agreed to be interviewed by the NFL for its investigation concerning use of performance enhancing drugs, but has called for the interview to be filmed live to ensure transparency from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who he labeled a "crook."
The NFL issued a letter this week to the NFL Players Association threatening to suspend Harrison, Green Bay Packers linebackers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers and free-agent linebacker Mike Neal if they did not talk to the league by Aug. 25. The investigation and threatened suspensions stem from an Al-Jazeera America report accusing the players of taking PEDs.
Harrison submitted an affidavit last month denying the allegations, but finally agreed to meet with investigators on Aug. 30 after initially resisting.
"If it leads to the hands of that crook, I mean Roger Goodell, he can do whatever he wants," Harrison said.
"Whatever evidence they might have or reasoning for questioning for me is out of my control, I don't know," Harrison said. "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."
Harrison, 38, played in Pittsburgh's 17–0 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday as he prepares for his 14th NFL season. Harrison said his motivation for doing the interview is to ensure he can play this season, rather than to appease the NFL.
"If it went to a longer situation and I got the suspension, the bigger outcome wasn't really worth it," Harrison said. "I wouldn't be on the team. I'd hurt the team, hurt my teammates and coaches."
- Scooby Axson