James Harrison was one of the most feared defensive players in the NFL back in his prime and while playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, he delivered countless crushing blows. One time, Harrison was fined $75,000 for one of his hits and it became a precedent for what was about to come in terms of the league cracking down on big hits.
During a recent interview, Harrison admitted that the Steelers thought the fine was stupid and ended up giving him the $75K so that he could pay off the fine without having to dip into his salary. NFL fans began to go bonkers upon hearing this, likening the situation to Saint’s infamous “Bountygate” scandal. Harrison ended up getting wind of this criticism and took to Instagram to give his unfiltered thoughts.
“Wow y’all really comparing what I said to BOUNTYGATE?!? Mike T. Has NEVER paid me for hurting someone or TRYING to hurt someone or put a bounty on ANYBODY! If you knew the full story of what happened back then you’d know that BS fine for a Legal Play wasn’t even penalized during the game. The league was getting pressure because the first concussion lawsuits were starting and they had to look like they cared about player safety all of a sudden. Before that they had been SELLING a photo of THAT SAME PLAY FOR $55 on the NFL website with other videos of the NFL’S GREATEST HITS that the league Profited On back then. When the league had to start pretending like they cared about player safety they took all those things down off their website and they started fining guys ridiculous amounts for the same plays they used to profit off of. EVERYBODY knew it – even these same media people and all the fans that were sending money to me and the team to cover the fine. AGAIN AT NO TIME did Mike T. EVER suggest anybody hurt anybody or that they’d be rewarded for anything like that. GTFOH with that BS!!!”
Harrison seems pretty upset by the notion that the Steelers were operating a Bounty system and rightfully so. Those allegations are very serious and you can’t help but understand what Harrison is trying to say here. It appears to be nothing more than a team making up for an unjust decision by the league.