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James Harrison won't visit Obama's White House with the rest of Steelers

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james-harrison-white-house.jpgPittsburgh Steelers linebacker and "Weekend Update" guest James Harrison won't be joining his teammates at the White House on Thursday when President Barack Obama welcomes them.

"If you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl," he told Pittsburgh's WTAE-TV. "So as far as I'm concerned he would have invited Arizona if they had won."
Harrison's motives don't appear be to political and he also skipped the Steelers' visit after Pittsburgh's 2006 Super Bowl win.
Grant Hill let it be known on this morning's "Mike & Mike" that he was ashamed of Harrison's decision.

Personally, I wouldn't care who the president is or if I saw eye-to-eye with him politically. The chance to be honored at the White House is an opportunity most people will never get to experience.

But, let's be honest about this glorified photo-op. It's the same with every team. They show up, give the prez a novelty jersey, shake a few hands and then get out of there. It's not exactly a life-altering afternoon for a professional athlete who has already won the world championship.

So, what do you make of Harrison's decision to skip the trip?

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54 Comments

This guy is a joke. All major champions are invited to the White House as an honor. It is an opportunity to represent their city team and city. This is not about politics. When Bush was president, I couldn't stand him (I thought he was horrible as President) but if I was invited to meet him, I would do so and show him the respect he is due as the President of our country. Harrison is out of touch. James, you scored a touchdown....you didn't discover the cure for cancer. You are not educating children, protecting people from crime or fighting terrorist. Dude you are an athelete who has been blessed with the opportunity to make millions of dollars playing a game. WAKE UP, James.

i love harrison's logic... i think he's making a great point here. he refuses to be part of the beurocratic and political BS constantly going on in washington.

It's not like he's going to hurt the Presidents feelings or be terribly missed...GROW UP HARRISON!!!

amazing logic! they should also give back the championship trophy. I mean, if araizona won the superbowl, they woulda just gave it to them.

It is up to him to go or not and it shouldn't matter what he does. If I were him I wouldn't go no matter who is president. What does the president have to do with the superbowl champions anyway? The president is the head of the federal government. Nobody cares about the photo op that this produces except for the egomaniacs in government that want to feel important by adding this to their scrapbook, and the moronic media that think everyone cares about what the president does every second. People live their own lives and Harrison probably has better more productive things to do besides meeting a guy that probably doesn't even know who he is or what position he plays. Also, there are more important and interesting people that he could meed anyways besides some federal bureaucrat.

I am a huge Steeler fan, the Steeler represent class and dignity year end and year out. What Harrison is did in 06 and now is not the Steeler way, I am disappointed in him. He should be honored to have a invitation to meet the President, no matter who he or she is.

He's a big JERK - - He should be proud to meet the President of the United States. Who the heck does he think he is,

It's a shame that the United States doesn't respect their President - - other in countries they probably would hang them.

We don't realize how lucky we are.

What an idiot! What's wrong with getting a little praise when you win! Enjoy it!!! He needs to take the chip off his shoulder and enjoy the glory...cuz it dont last forever~~

I don't get it. Of course he's only being invited to the White House because the Steelers won the Super Bowl. What does he think? Obama should be inviting him because he's great and important?

I too am I huge Steeler fan - been one for years. I think Harrison should be able to make his own decision on visiting the White House. I agree with Dane. What does the president have to do with the Super Bowl Champions. This has nothing to do with Harrison or the Steelers dignity. We do live in America and Harrison is allowed to make his own decisions. Good for you Harrison.

Harrison you are an idiot; plain and simple.

For a long time I was amused by pro athletes and their antics; then I became bemused, and NOW I'm disgusted!

Dude [Harrison] you carry a ball, and run for a living; it's not rocket science, get some perspective you ignorant fool.

The President of the United States; the most powerful man in the world, and the most popular president since Washington himself invited you to America's house to honour you and your team's achievement. You say I don't want to go because "... it's no big deal?"

To hell with you little man. You may be an athlete; but you are no champ. Go to hell.

harrison=douche

Re: "So as far as I'm concerned he would have invited Arizona if they had won."

Ya think? This guy must be a genius.

As a Steeler fan, I have to say Harrison's actions here are pretty much absurd...and definitely embarrassing to the team and the city. Come on Harrison - Rooney, a huge Obama supporter and now the US Ambassador to Ireland, just signed you to a huge contract (which is completely out of character for the Steelers ownership, mind you). Show Rooney, the President, and more importantly YOUR TEAM some respect and get on that plane.

I really don't understand the point he's trying to make. Well, I guess I understand it...but it's just really not much of a point at all.

Hey Harrison, the steelers team are being honoured because they won, this is just an appreciation of what the team was able to archieve. The president has better things to do, so be grateful and enjoy what the whole did, this is not about you.

You guys need to get over it. If he doesn't want to go, well, he doesn't want to go.

Everyone has a right to their opinion. When I read that Harrison wasn't going to visit the White House, I was curious to see what specific issue he had either with the Democratic Party, Obama's cabinet, Obama, Obama's policies or past actions of Obama.

It turns out his rationale is "If you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl,"..."So as far as I'm concerned he would have invited Arizona if they had won."

His inference is that Obama's invitation for the Steelers to visit the White House under the guise of having won the Super Bowl, is just so The President can meet them.

I can honestly write that I didn't see that one coming!

I can understand where he is coming from, I am a athlete I could care less about meeting some guy who gets paid to shake hands...its not an honor to meet another human being who sits on the toilet just like I do. The president is a man first and we as men/women have the choice to make our own decisions, plus the fact that he didnt go to the white house in 06..where was the firestorm then...oooh I forgot Obama wasnt in office then..makes a big difference. what does the goverment have to do with winning the superbowl? right on to harrison being his own man..

MONEY, FAME and EGO! A true all-American.

Too bad this idiot feels he's too good to represent his team and the city of Pittsburgh in our nation's capitol.

Probably too busy that day to make his fans proud. Clearly he's more important -- in his own mind -- to take time out of his otherwise busy schedule. Doing what? Counting his money? (Maybe it's his pilot's day off).

Self-centered selfish jerk. An embarrassment to the team and to the city;

I like his logic as well... and if he wants to stand by that more power to him. We all have our beliefs and what not... BUT I would enjoy meeting any president just because they are the PRESIDENT. But if that isn't important to him then who cares...

Why do you all care so much? You do not know what is going on in his life and what may be on his mind. You are all jumping to conclusions as to why he does not want to go. You steelers fans...you should know by now that james harrison has blue collar work ethic like most of you...i'm not saying he isn't wrong but at least wait until a reason is posted...oh and average california joe...you are the idiot...why would you tell someone to go to hell for that

First of all I just love the trash talk on James Harrison...none of which would be done to his face. So now to my opinion...I think it is a great opportunity but a decision that is his to make. If he does not want to go...then that is his choice and no one elses. Ive been a long time Steelers fan and I dont feel this "hurts" the Steelers image or any of that bull crap. Harrison is still an amazing athlete and I respect his decision.

Big Steeler fan but really don't care whether Silverback goes or not. Just curious though, was there the same mock outrage when he failed to attend for President Bush? Most popular President since Washington? Maybe Nate Washington.

Harrison can do whatever he wants to do. There shouldn't even be a story about this. Maybe it really is a political motives that he has declined. Maybe he's a conservative. Neither Obama nor Bush was conservative. Both are/were very social in spending and growing the government.
When we are looked down upon because we hold views, political or otherwise, then there is big reason for concern. Just like Miss USA paegent, when Miss California was asked about her PERSONAL VIEWS about gay marraige, she gave her personal opinion, and I'm sure that is what Harrison is doing....it's his choice, give the guy a break!

Harrison is crazy.
Who does he think he is...
I've been a life long Steeler fan and I'm ashamed at his high maintenance baby attitude.
He needs to grow up. He was invited with the rest of the team for a second time to be congratulated by the President. He needs to remember he's representing us in Pittsburgh and say Thank you.
What a diva.

This is an example of why I do not watch professional sports.

arrogant idiots!

"So as far as I'm concerned he would have invited Arizona if they had won."

Does he actually think the Pres is inviting the Steelers because he wants to meet the Steelers more than he wants to meet the Super Bowl Champions? Toooool

Kudos to Harrison for standing his ground!!! Last time I checked, this was STILL a FREE country; so if he doesn't WANT to go, why should he?!?!?

He didn't go last time, so this is a non-story. No one talked about him snubbing Bush. But snub the Anointed One, the Enlightened One, and it's news. Gimmie a break.

Average California Joe:

Actually, he doesn't carry a ball. He tackles the people that carry the ball. That's what he does for a living.

Also, I'd definitely say that FDR was the most popular President since Washington. He got elected to four terms, after all.

I don't see why anyone should care whether James Harrison does or does not want to go to the White House to see the President. Personally, I'd be honored to meet the President, but it's not me, now is it? James Harrison's life dream probably isn't to meet the President, it's probably to win the Super Bowl, which he's now done twice.

I think it's funny that this is a big story this year when Harrison is a star, but nobody even took notice in 2005 when he skipped out on meeting President Bush because he was just a reserve linebacker then. The big story then was Joey Porter having the nerve to say he disagreed with Bush's policies.

I also think it's funny when people try to bludgeon him over the head with the "THIS IS A FREE COUNTRY!" speech. Follow that to its logical conclusion. "THIS IS A FREE COUNTRY, YOU'RE LUCKY TO LIVE HERE! THEREFORE YOU SHOULD BE OBLIGATED TO MEET THE PRESIDENT!" I like when people even go so far as to point out that "in other countries they would probably hang him." Well, I'm glad we don't live in those countries, then! I'm glad we have the freedom to choose to turn down an invitation to meet the President without fear of being hanged, and I'm glad that people like James Harrison actually take advantage of that freedom - because if nobody utilises their freedoms, they don't mean much, now do they?

This is disgraceful. This is exactly whats wrong with sports. Most of the time sports are the greatest thing out there. Competition breads excitement, camaraderie, and unification for most people. All it takes is one individual to be above the team, and think that he or she is owed something.

As many of you have said, James Harrison, you are being paid a fortune to do something you love, and many people would give anything to do.

You are selfish, and I hope the other classy members of the steelers, like Ben Rothlesburger, don't allow this.

I can't wait until a fullback from a team that wasn't lucky enough to win the Superbowl and be given that great honor comes at you and knocks you out. We will be watching.

What's wrong with you people? It's AMERICA, it's his choice if he doesn't want to go to the White House.

Die hard steeler fan here....as great as James is...he would not get as much publicity if he showed up at the White House. It's all about HIM being different and a tough guy image that thrives on publicity.
After ALL the money the Rooney's paid him.....at least show some respect for the Rooney family....Especially since Obama selected Dan as the Irish Ambassador.

I do not believe the issue here is whether Harrison goes or not, but rather his reason for not attending. Had he just said he was unable to attend this would be no issue; but his words send a message - the invite is unworthy of him because it would have gone to whichever team won. Most cities honor their athletes and academic scholars because they are proud of their accomplishment. It is not because they want to meet them, but applaud their efforts and the way they represented their city. This is the same for our states and the federal government. What a shame Harrison cannot see that and what a shame he chose to give his reason in such a manner. All he had to do was say I cannot make it.

I'm confused. I've seen a couple people talk about how awesome the logic is. If Arizona had won the superbowl, they'd just give the trophy to them and invite them to the White house. DUH!!!! NEWS FLASH!!! YOU ONLY GET THE CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY IF YOU WIN!!! Of course they would have invited Arizona had they won. Of course they would have given them the championship trophy. You have to win it to get it. The president honors the best teams in the land, you don't get to go for losing. Anyone who is confused on that shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion.

I really don't understand the people that don't have a problem with his reasoning.

If the man does not want to attend, then that's fine, but at least be as polite as my 4 year old sister and show some respect and thanks for the offer.

Implying that president Obama invited them over to get to know them is absurd. Its a tradition and an honor to be invited there, not a way for the President to get in a plug for the new screen pass he drew up in his spare time!

I am not an Obama supporter, however, I believe the man deserves respect. I am certain that our white house deserves some respect.

If he has a serious problem with the government and truly can't justify going there, that's fine. But don't you dare disrespect the president, and expect lenience from everyone else and hide under the excuse of free will and choice that is granted by....our GOVERNMENT!!!!

Carry yourself like a man, not like a child who has been ousted from a birthday party.

this guy is so dumb. of course he would've invited the cardinals if they had won. that's what all super ball winners are awarded. And if that guy doesn't go he is showing disrespect for not going to the white house. And if obama invited the team he loved to the white house instead of the super bowl winners the team would feel disrespected. Harrison's a fool.

I think it's a non-issue, he didn't go under the Bush administration so clearly he just doesn't think it's a big deal. His point isn't that it isn't an honor but that in his world he would rather spend his time meeting with people who care about him and not just who he is due to an accomplishment and I respect him for that.

Poor James was not taught basic manners. He should try to buy some with his money.
Of course he has the right to do as he pleases, but he is a bit of an asshat. Duh!
Why does he think the Steelers would be invited to the WH if they lost? Does he think
the president has nothing to do but meet his clueless behind?

I see his point. If the president wanted to take Harrison's logic and run with it, he should invite the Detroit Lions to the White House. James would not be able to call him a front runner then. And after all there will be another Super Bowl Champion next year but, we may never see another 0-16 team.

Maybe James Harrison should go and keep quiet for the sake of the team's owner. To be in the forefront of the news is disgraceful in my opinion. I would love to be invited to the White House for any reason; I'll never see it, and here's a man who has refused to go twice.

I'm embarrassed to be called a Steeler fan; and the team should be embarrassed to call him a part of the "team".

Such a spoiled brat!!!!

This guy is a moron and a joke. His logic is way flawed and he should be "thrown out to pasture." He is an embarrassment two time over-first snubbing the invitation of GWB (43) and now Obama (44). Who is in the hades does he think he is? I know.... a jerk plain and simple.

Obviously this overrrated bum has no since of history nor dignity. If he he has elders alive in his family, much less children, especially his own, they should be outraged at this asonine decision. Wow, I wish "my daddy" in his day had the distinct opportunity to meet the POTUS! Boy would the kids, the grandkids, and beyond have something for "show and tell". What a waste.

Barack Obama is the living embodiment of America's gain, its progress. all of what it claims to be, and its potential. This guy is that hottest thing "smokin'", the world over, even if "sore losers" contiune to rail against him and his effort. While I repect "Mr. Dumb Jock's" decision, I hope he break his knee next season for being stupid!

For the record, I had no special admiration for Bush, I thought he was the most pompus, arrant leader the world has ever seen. But I did respect him and the office, and what it represents. And if he had ever invited me and my friends there, I would have been the first on the bus to take the special opportunity to meet him. Goose bumps have always lined my arm when the guy steps out and shouts to the world:

"Mr./Madam Speaker, The President of The United States! Regardless of whomever he was referring to.


All the money in the world doesn't buy class. Either you have it or you don't. Does Harrison think the President should invite him to the White House to discuss world affairs?

Mean Joe Green would pimp slap this fool. Shameful!!

Athletes come and go. Harrison's name will be forgotten less than a year after he retires, quits or is arrested. I can't understand why he passes up the chance to meet the first african American president. What was he doing when everyone was watching this historical moment. Watching game film of his insignificant life scoring of touchdowns? Many have gone before you and have done that and better. Many more will follow.

hey chicago... micheal jordan didn't go to the white house for political reasons, he is a democrat

Harrison is an idiot plan and simple!

The ONLY reason this is a "newsworthy" story is because he's snubbed Obama, the black saviour of America; the Michael Jordan of politics. Give me a stinking BREAK!!!

Obama's just another politician that's in the process of BANKRUPTING this ONCE great nation! He's no better than Bush the bonehead. He's the same kind of politician who ENDLESSLY tells YOU how YOU need to sacrifice by paying ENDLESS taxes to a monstrously bloated government that does nothing but help fatten the bank accounts of the connected and give money to people who won't work. He's sort of a black Robin Hood except he's stealing from the workers not the rich!!!

Why is Obama not attempting to prosecute the rich theives on Wall Street? If he is truly "FOR THE PEOPLE" he should be acting like a rabid rottweiler going after the SOB's that caused this economic tsunami!!! It's because he can't bite the hand that feeds him, THAT'S WHY!!!

HOW DARE James Harrison, spoiled athlete, snub the administration that's in the process of enslaving the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of today's working stiffs.

Harrison's probably miffed at the HUGE amount of tax HE KNOWS he's gonna have to pay by the time Obama and company are through taxing this country into a black hole of indebtetness to the super wealthy! Money doesn't grow on trees! Obama and his cronies are gonna tax all the worker bees to death, just for more votes from the undeserving non-workers of this country. Wonderful!!!

Harrison's refusing to bow down to the almighty politicians that steal from us working stiffs every day.

I don't care if he's a spoiled athlete. 99% of pro athletes have been mollycoddled and pampered from jr. high thru college because they displayed superior athletic ability when they were very young. It explains why most of them can barely read or write or speak intelligibly. They don't have to. They're SPECIAL!

The message I'm getting is that he doesn't respect the president or any of his cronies. WHY WOULD HE? I'm hoping someone will offer to take a photo of him giving the White House the finger. They could pay him $300k+. Isn't that what the PENNY PINCHING Obama administration spent on the Air Force One flyover in NYC? It makes sense to me!!!

It's time for the tax weary workers in this country to stand up and refuse to be enslaved further. I wish more rich athletes would grow a pair and stand up for the working people in this country. The people who pay to watch them perform.

The problem is, none of them have the stones like James Harrison does. Good for him!!

there is a reason Harrison has 1st round talent yet didn't even get drafted. he has a screw loose.

someone should pull him aside and explain to him that the winner gets to go to the white house.. so yeah if arizona won they would of went.

thats fine if he doesn't want to go but it is a huge blown opportunity to meet Obama, one that millions of americans would love to have a chance to do. he is crazy if he doesn't take that opportunity and will regret it later in life

Contrary to what seems to be the common ground here, Obama is NOT the 2nd coming of Christ. In fact, I'm pretty sure Jesus would only want to meet Obama to change his heart. Harrison CAN do anything he wants. There are quite a few little peabrains on here that do not want this guy to have an opinion,one way or another. Welcome TO the Socialist America the majority voted for last Novemeber. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU!

To Bearmaniac, and all of you turning this into a political discussion:

In my opinion the issue is the way he addressed the situation. Stop references Obama'a cronies and political decisions and think about the real issue.

This man shows disrespect to the office of the president by his comments. He definitely does not have to go visit the white house if he does not want to. That IS his decision, and although I think its a stupid and immature decision, its his to make.

By making the comment he did, he is devaluing the entire gesture and acting like as many of you have said, a spoiled brat. The president is not required to invite ANYONE to the white house. But he is honoring the team as one that we all look up to as rolemodels and hardworking players.

Football and all sports are a big deal to Americans. Little kids watch sport center over and over each day. This story being publicized like this sends the WRONG MESSAGE.

We live in a time when movies tell us to make fun of police as fake tough guys, we have no respect for religious leaders, and now we are disrespecting the office of the president. That's not the trend I would like to continue.

If he doesn't want to go, fine, but keep your unintelligent comments to yourself.

Harrison is a great player and man. He did no wrong by refusing this and those of you who say that it is a shame that the citizens don't respect the president, well, he obviously doesn't respect us. Remember his rant about how awful arrogant and stupid we are. Kudos to Harrison, I love all the Steelers.

The only reason people are making a big deal out of this is because of Obama. Not everybody is jumping on the Obama love train or worshipping the ground he walks on.

It is his choice if he does not want to go to the White House. Big deal. I commend him for not bowing down to pressure and standing on his own ground. There are more important things going on in the world.

He is ignorant, immature and lacking in grace...

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