James Harrison Rejects Sons' Participation Trophies

Posted: Aug 17 2015, 7:00am CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News


James Harrison Rejects Sons' Participation Trophies
Photo Credit: Getty Images
  • James Harrison has returned his sons' participation trophies.
  • He says they should "earn a real trophy."

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison rejected his two sons' participation trophies on Aug. 15. In an Instagram post, Harrison wrote they have to "EARN a real trophy."

James Harrison has rejected his two sons' participation trophies. 

They have received the "2015 Best of the Batch Next Level Athletics Student-Athlete Award."

On Aug. 15, he said he will be giving back the trophies.

Harrison explained his side via an Instagram post on Saturday:

"I came home to find out my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy.

A photo posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on

"I'm sorry I'm not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I'm not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best...cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better...not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy." 

Harrison has already returned the trophies. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler confirmed this. 

Harrison said, "They've already gone back."

While Harrison was signing autographs, one Pittsburgh Steelers fan yelled his appreciation. "I appreciate what you're teaching your sons," he said.

Harrison is happy to be back on the field. This was what he told Teresa Varley of Steelers.com on Aug. 11.

"I finally got out here and got a feel for playing football again," he said. "Repetition builds memory. The more you are out here, the more you're doing it, the easier it becomes."

Harrison also spoke about the difference between weight-room training and practicing, per Varley:

"There is a difference. Three or four plays out there are a lot harder than running 10 sprints. 

"I feel all right. It's day one. I've got four preseason games to get back in the swing of it before the regular season starts. It's just day one. I did what was expected for day one."

"I know when you get 92 back in the uniform that changes the climate a little bit," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told Varley. "I think it did today."

During the offseason, Harrison mentored Pittsburgh's younger linebackers. He taught Jarvis Jones, Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams and Sean Spence. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac reported on the development. 

Harrison imparted the regimen he follows to be in tip-top shape. His trainer, Ian Denney of Performance Enhancement Professionals, designed the program.

Harrison told Dulac the program has helped the Steelers' younger linebackers:

"Right now, they're stronger, they're faster; even Shazier put on a little weight. I'm just leading them to the water, it's up to them to drink.

"It's like God is driving the bus for me right now. I'm almost 40 years old out here playing a game with young men. I'm extremely blessed and fortunate to be able to do that."

The Steelers told Harrison they're limiting him to 25 snaps per game in 2015. Dulac says this has something to do with his age. The Steelers also want to play Jones more.

Last season, Harrison played in Pittsburgh's final four games. He played in a minimum of 52 snaps during that stretch, per The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  

Harrison told Dulac he is open to any possibility.

"We'll get into the season and see how things roll out," he said. "Initially when I came last year, I was supposed to be a 15- to 20-snap guy, and things rolled out a different way. We'll see."

Dulac predicts Harrison to start at linebacker once the season kicks off on Sept. 10. Pittsburgh will go on the road to play the New England Patriots. The latter won Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Az. last February. 

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The Author

Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.




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