Franco Harris and his Pittsburgh Steelers teams were known for being tough as nails.
The way the media has mollycoddled anthem protester Colin Kaepernick would’ve made his teams sick.
When Harris was asked about Kaepernick, he responded with how the Steel Curtain would’ve dealt with such a self-centered player.
Harris said leaders like “Mean” Joe Greene and Jack Lambert would’ve shut down the anthem protest.
NFL Hall of Famer Franco Harris says that, on his Steelers’ teams, someone like Colin Kaepernick never would have gotten away with using a football game as a platform to launch a protest. Primarily because players like Joe Greene and Jack Lambert would have put a stop to it.
Speaking to Mediaite’s John Ziegler, the 67-year-old Pittsburgh Steelers fullback said that it was perfectly fine for someone like Kaepernick to have their own personal opinions about the problems facing the country, but that it isn’t right to make the playing of the national anthem a platform for those statements.
“If Colin felt that he wanted to make a point — which is fine, which is his right — to get involved with any position, or organization that he really wants. But, when he puts on that suit,” Harris told Ziegler, “when he steps out on that field, now it’s more than just him. It’s his teammates, it’s the NFL, and it’s the fans. And when he puts that suit on, it is not just about him, and his position, and the things that he wants to back and wants to believe in, because the team has to come first.”
Harris also said that it wasn’t fair of Kaepernick to bring his teammates, the NFL, and the fans into his personal protest: “If he wants to make statements, take a position, then that’s fine, absolutely, go do that. But, there’s no reason why you couldn’t do it after practice… on another platform than doing it with his suit on and at the stadium.
“This is his personal opinion that he wanted to take and there’s many platforms he could have just gone and done it. He could have done it anywhere else and no one would have said anything…. but once he put on that suit, once he stepped out on that field, now that represents more than him,” he added.
The four-time Super Bowl champion also noted that in his day Kaepernick wouldn’t have gotten away with such grandstanding.
“We had two of the meanest guys in football who I think would’ve dealt with it that way,” Harris said, “and that would’ve been Joe Greene and Jack Lambert.”
Harris’ main opinion, though, is that one should stand for the anthem despite any personal feelings.
“Sure we have certain social issues that we’ll always be dealing with, but that you stand for the flag and that we’re all behind the flag.”
For those that still believe Kaepernick is taking some altruistic, principled stance, look no further than how he’s treated people who have considered giving him a chance.
He took a subtle shot at Pete Carroll after the Seattle Seahawks worked him out, then later his girlfriend (surely with his approval) tweeted a picture comparing Baltimore Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti and team ambassador Ray Lewis to a slave owner and a house slave.
Lewis admitted he had been working behind the scenes to get Kaepernick a job, then the picture was posted and killed the deal.
From CBS Sports:
Ray Lewis: “When me and Steve Bisciotti were talking, this is what we were talking about, Judy. We were talking about giving this kid an opportunity to get back in the National Football League. Look, this is what I wanted to share with people. I have been fighting for this kid behind the table like nobody has … I’ve never been against Colin Kaepernick. But I am against the way he’s done it.
“Then, his girl [Colin Kaepernick’s girlfriend] goes out and put out this racist gesture and doesn’t know we are in the back office about to try to get this guy signed. Steve Bisciotti has said it himself, ‘How can you crucify Ray Lewis when Ray Lewis is the one calling for Colin Kaepernick?’ …
“When they (Ravens) called me, it was to say, ‘Yes or no?’ … We were going to close the deal to sign him … Steve Bisciotti said, ‘I want to hear Colin Kaeperkick speak to let me know that he wants to play football.’ … And it never happens because that picture comes up the next day. “
Football is the ultimate team sport. If Colin Kaepernick wants to be part of an NFL team, he needs to start acting like it.