Our View: Some things are better left unsaid

SKS staff

Former Kent State linebacker James Harrison is causing quite a stir with his recent anti-gay comments about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and discouraging words about his Steelers teammates. In the August issue of Men’s Journal magazine, Harrison was quoted using anti-gay slurs describing Goodell, who fined him a total of $100,000 for his late hits during the 2010 season.

Harrison issued a formal apology via his Facebook page, which he stated would be his only response to the magazine article. In the statement, Harrison admitted that he did make comments about his teammates when he was talking about the Steelers’ recent Super Bowl loss, “but the handful of words that were used and heavily publicized yesterday were pulled out of a long conversation, and the context was lost.”

Harrison goes on to say that he would never say the Super Bowl loss was the fault of Ben Roethlisberger or any other teammate. In the statement, Harrison also apologized for what he called “careless use of a slang word” when speaking of Goodell, whom he also referred to as “stupid,” “puppet” and “dictator” in the magazine article.

In our observation and sometimes admiration for celebrity athletes, the public fails to realize that like us, they’re human and capable of making mistakes. Though Harrison’s slurs are unacceptable, they may also be a part of his personal opinion, for which we can’t fault him.

With all that said, Harrison is well aware that he is a public figure and therefore, everything he says and does is under a microscope. In today’s world, you perform a cool pop ‘n’ lock at a baseball game or sing an annoying song about Friday, and you’re officially a star who belongs to the public.

As a general rule, celebrities should probably think twice about the things they do and say when a camera or a voice recorder is around. As journalists, we live for it; it’s the very thing we want to report on because we know readers are interested. But let’s be serious; he had to know his words would backfire and bring him some unwanted publicity.

Piece of advice: Try not to upset the people when you’re constantly in the public eye. Eventually, people will get sick of your bad behavior and ultimately, your career will be ruined.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Summer Kent Stater editorial board.