This is James Harrison, an All-Pro linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Earlier this month, Harrison, charmingly, smacked his girlfriend in the face, breaking her glasses, during an 1 a.m. argument. Harrison was not kicked off the team. Just a few days later, though, wide receiver Cedrick Wilson was released by the team after being arraigned for hitting his estranged girlfriend. (She claims the incident was misconstrued, that he only "shoved" her.) So what's the difference between the two? Not that Harrison is valuable and Wilson' isn't, nope, says chairman Dan Rooney. It's all about intent.
Rooney says the Harrison arrest is different because he had a perfectly reasonable excuse for hitting her. Really.
"I know many are asking the question of [why] we released Wilson and Harrison we kept,'' he said. "The circumstances — I know of the incidents, they are completely different. In fact, when I say we don't condone these things, we don't, but we do have to look at the circumstances that are involved with other players and things like that, so they're not all the same."
"What Jimmy Harrison was doing and how the incident occurred, what he was trying to do was really well worth it," he said of Mr. Harrison's initial intent with his son. "He was doing something that was good, wanted to take his son to get baptized where he lived and things like that. She said she didn't want to do it."
You kind of have to admire that. Harrison could have set the lady on fire, but if he had just been trying to take the kid to church, it would have been totally understandable. Cedric Wilson should slap women around for honorable reasons. Live and learn, people.
Dan Rooney's Legacy Gets A Black Eye [Lion In Oil]