In response to the National Football League’s request for an interview regarding the alleged use of performance enhancing drugs, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison denied any wrongdoing in a sworn affidavit on Tuesday.
James Harrison responds to NFL's interview request with a sworn affidavit: pic.twitter.com/jpRYXUWty5
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 12, 2016
Harrison’s alleged involvement in the use of performance enhancing drugs stems from an investigation by Al Jazeera that proclaims multiple current professional sports stars were provided PEDs by the Texas-based pharmacist Charlie Sly.
While there’s been a major debate regarding the Al Jazeera report, the NFL itself has made the decision to investigate the findings of the report. It’s an internal investigation that includes the league asking for interviews with those allegedly involved in the “scandal.”
Harrison’s response was formed under the guise of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and is seen as a way for the union to force the NFL to provide legitimate proof of involvement before any of its players continue with this dog and pony show.
It also comes at a time when NFLPA associate general counsel Heather McPhee has indicated that there’s no requirement for union members to meet with the league regarding the allegations.
“(The players) have simply asked the NFL to meet its obligation as a responsible, sophisticated employer to perform rigorous due diligence prior to demanding interviews with employees,” she said, via Pro Football Talk.
It really doesn’t seem like there’s going to be much come out of this. First off, Sly has recanted his comments that led to the investigation in the first place.
Whether it’s the NFL attempting to cover all bases or something completely different, it’s readily apparent the union isn’t going to play ball without any more substantial evidence coming out directly linking players to the scandal.
Much like we’ve seen in regards to other issues of collective bargaining, there’s no reason to believe the NFL will back down here.
At the very least, Harrison isn’t simply going to sit back and be thrown through the mud based on allegations that have yet to be proven. He made that clear on Tuesday.