PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Franco Harris is an iconic figure, but once he started defending Joe Paterno, people started turning on the Steeler Hall of Famer.
Franco’s not backing down.
“Once you get all the information, you’ll see that Joe did all he could do,” he told KDKA-TV.
He carried out one of the greatest plays in NFL history, the immaculate reception. But fighting off tackles may have been easier than the hits he’s taking this week.
In a letter, Mayor Ravenstahl told Harris he had a “… callous disregard and indifference for the victims of sexual abuse at Penn State.”
Harris took it in stride.
“It really is disappointing that someone in his position would try to tear somebody down while he wants to make a point about child abuse,” Harris said.
“I felt that Franco was saying and doing things that were detrimental to the Pittsburgh Promise and I felt that that needed to stop,” Ravenstahl said.
Then on the “Dr. Phil Show,” Franco faced more slings and arrows from a former NFL player who’s an advocate for child victims.
“With all due respect to Franco, his NFL career far outlived mine, but his loyalty has made him delusional,” Heath Evans, an NFL analyst, said.
Harris, who says he’s never heard of Heath Evans, says public opinion will change when they hear the whole story about Paterno’s actions in the Penn State scandal.
“I’m not a delusional sort of guy,” Harris said. “I like to see things for real, but a lot of people don’t have all the information.”