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‘They Knew Damn Well What Was About To Happen!’ NFL Star Known For Violent Hits Condemns Kid Football Helmet Slam

"EXACTLY why I wouldn't let my boys play tackle until I was done playing"
James harrison
Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Commenting on a video of two youngsters at a football practice in which they raced at each other to butt helmets, with the bigger one absolutely crushing the smaller one as his helmet bludgeoned the other’s, former NFL star defensive back James Harrison snapped on Twitter, “EXACTLY why I wouldn’t let my boys play tackle until I was done playing — so I could be there to make sure they were being taught the right way. Where’s the standards for who’s ‘coaching’ young kids? This is a set up from the start, they knew damn well what was about to happen!”

Harrison, a linebacker who became the all-time leader in sacks for the Pittsburgh Steelers, with whom he won two Super Bowls, set a record in Super Bowl XLIII when he intercepted a pass from Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner at the goal line and ran back the length of the field for a 100-yard touchdown. He was selected to the Pro Bowl five times.

Harrison was famous for his violent tackles, at one point getting fined roughly $100,000 for his actions and summoned to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office to explain the ferocity of his play.

In 2012, Harrison was interviewed by Paul Solotaroff of Men’s Journal, who wrote:

This is the man who seized Vince Young and dunked the Titans quarterback, all 230 pounds of him, headfirst into the turf like a cruller. This is the man who knocked two Cleveland Browns cold in the span of seven minutes last year and then baited Goodell with his postgame comments, saying he liked to “hurt” opponents. He amended that in the next breath, saying he tried to inflict pain without causing serious injury, but it sounded like lawyer-ese and was ignored.

Harrison told Solotaroff, “My rep is James Harrison, mean son of a b**** who loves hitting the hell out of people. But up until last year, there was no word of me being dirty – till Roger Goodell, who’s a crook and a puppet, said I was the dirtiest player in the league. If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it. I hate him and will never respect him.”

“I get dinged about three times a year and don’t know where I am for a little minute,” Harrison added. “But unless I’m asleep, you’re not getting me out of the game, and most guys feel the same way. If a guy has a choice of hitting me high or low, hit me in the head and I’ll pay your fine. Just don’t hit me in the knee, ’cause that’s life-threatening. How’m I going to feed my family if I can’t run?”

The Weill Cornell Concussion and Brain Injury Clinic notes:

Research does show that children can take longer to recover from a concussion than adults suffering comparable impacts. Children who sustain one concussion are also at higher risk for a second concussion from an injury sustained soon after the first one. As with adults, a child can sustain a second concussion from a lesser impact than is generally required to produce one – that is to say, a relatively small bump to the head can cause a concussion in a child or adolescent who has sustained a recent earlier concussion. Children who have suffered a concussion are not only more likely to have another concussion, but the consequences of subsequent concussions are potentially even more significant.

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