Steelers Linebacker James Harrison Doesn’t Believe in “Participation Trophies”

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has always been a hard working, hard playing football player. It’s hard to believe the 37 year old five time all pro was a walk on for his college ball at Kent State, that he went undrafted in the NFL draft, played a year in Europe, and was cut by the Baltimore Ravens before sticking with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since he has worked hard to get to where he is, it is understandable that he has no use for the current fad in kids sports of giving out “participation trophies” or awards essentially for just showing up and going through the drill.

Harrison’s two sons each recently received something called the 2015 Best of the Batch Next Level of Athletics Student Athlete Award. On his Instagram Account, Papa Harrison said these participation awards were going back until his sons actually earned a trophy. He wrote that while he always will encourage his kids to do their best he’s “not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy.”

We admit we’ve always been perplexed by these participation awards. It’s one thing to encourage and support kids in athletic, academic, or any other endeavor, but passing out hardware for just for showing up sends a message that mediocrity is OK and nearly on a level with excellence. It just isn’t that way in life.

Here’s James Harrison in action in Super Bowl XLIII, where the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl Champs. That’s a real trophy.

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