Like the King calling in one of his royal advisors, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell summoned Adolpho Birch and ordered him to give the Steelers’ James Harrison an ultimatum. Either Harrison must give in and be interviewed about the Al-Jazeera PED documentary by August 25th or he’ll face suspension.
Birch is the NFL’s Vice President of Labor Policy and League Affairs and he’s issued the declaration not only to Harrison but to Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and Mike Neal as well. Peyton Manning, who has already complied with the league has been cleared of any wrongdoing. (Don’t get me started on this one…)
If you recall, all of this started with a documentary by Al-Jazeera America which is now defunct. The documentary claimed the named players were involved with PEDs right around the time of the Super Bowl in February. While it isn’t surprising, all of the players involved have vehemently denied the accusations.
For the record, the NFL Players’ Association, citing he fact that the pharmacist who “named names” recanted his story, says there is no merit to any investigation. That’s exactly the stance Harrison has essentially taken as well. He’s actually stated he’d be glad to answer questions the league may have but they’re coming to him not the other way around.
Deebo has clearly had enough of the owners and their attack dog Goodell constantly coming after him and I certainly can’t blame him. This is a guy who was given little chance of ever making the NFL let alone becoming the Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.
The way I see it, Harrison holds all of the cards if, and here’s the big “if,” he doesn’t care if he plays another down of professional football. I say this because if he feels that way then he won’t give a damn what Roger Goodell decrees following the 25th. If playing does matter to him then he’ll have to navigate the waters much more carefully.
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