Here is Ryan Clark’s surprisingly muted reaction to James Harrison’s suspension. Clark is the Steelers’ union representative, and he has been outspoken in his criticism of Roger Goodell and the commissioner’s crackdown on illegal hits.
Q: How frustrating is all of this?
A: To be honest, I’m frustrated for James. I feel bad for James. I couldn’t imagine having to deal with what he’s had to deal with the past two years. I know he’s worked extremely hard to stay within the guidelines and it’s his first offense this year so that part frustrates me. As far as the other stuff it doesn’t bother me. You just hate to see a teammate, you hate to see a friend be kind of ostracized, ridiculed when he’s actually been working to do better.
Q: Has James been unfairly targeted by the league?
A: It’s not my call.
Q: Where do you see this going in the future? Will it get worse?
A: I’m just a free safety. I can’t tell y’all what’s going to happen in the future. We just want to play now. We want to try to figure out a way to be as physical as possible and to be as legal as possible. Right now that’s the challenge placed before us. On the other (side) of that when things don’t go our way we need to shut up because obviously being who we are isn’t working. Being outspoken about things and expressing our frustration in different manners than other people that’s not working for us. We’re not going to call the commissioner, we’re not going to set up meetings, that’s just not the players that we are. But I think as a team we just need to stop talking about it. Just do our best to go out here and play football because that’s what our jobs are and leave the rest of the politicking to other people.
— Scott Brown