Harrison, Mendenhall, Ward Talk Off-Season Controversies
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LATROBE (KDKA) — Despite the lockout, the Steelers had a colorful off-season and the players caught in the middle of it all addressed it.
Rashard Mendenhall raised eyebrows with a series of tweets following the death of Osama Bin Laden.
“It’s not been an issue – I’m really not going back into it,” he said. “I addressed that with the clarification, so now it’s just all football, we’re back with our teammates and everything’s good.”
Hines Ward won “Dancing With The Stars” and got a DUI while in Atlanta, Ga.
“It’s an unfortunate incident and I really can’t speak about the matter,” Ward said. “Like I said, I just got to leave it into my attorney’s hands, but I’m confident – like I said, at the end everything’s going to work out and everything’ll be fine.”
James Harrison caused a stir with comments he made to a magazine about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Ben Roethlisberger and Mendenhall. At camp, Harrison stepped up to the cameras and started talking.
“Obviously y’all want to talk about something and I’ll just start off by saying my interview that I did and the comments that I made about Roger Goodell were inappropriate at the very least and way out of line,” Harrison said. “I was speaking out of anger and frustration at the time and any comments that I may have made that offended anyone with my careless use of words, I apologize.”
It was an apology already accepted in a private forum, according to Mendenhall and Ben Roethlisberger.
“He called me that morning and left me a voicemail and told me to call him [be]cause he said he was sure that I wanted to talk to him,” Roethlisberger said. “I had no idea what he was talking about. So, I called him and he explained everything and it literally was nothing, so there’s absolutely no lingering effects whatsoever.”
“Everything’s cool – that’s my teammate,” Mendehall said. “We’re always good.”
“That’s all behind us,” Harrison continued. “Like I said, those comments were taken out of context of a long conversation and it’s not anything that I haven’t talked [about] with those guys about our any of my other teammates about. It’s just that it was pulled out of a conversation.”
Outside the locker room, there’s the question of how the league will handle Harrison’s comments, especially the anti-gay slur he used in reference to Goodell.
“I don’t know. We’ll find out. I don’t think he’s a guy that’s going to hold something that’s on a personal level … That’s what I did – I attacked him on a personal level which like I said wasn’t right,” Harrison said. “I don’t really expect anything to be done.”
Roethlisberger says the off-season is behind them.
“That’s the beauty of this team,” he said. “The lockout stuff and all the issues that go on – this is a veteran team. There’s not really too much any of us are going to need to say or do. We come back and just start playing ball again and you get back together with your family … and you go back to being a family.”