Steelers Linebacker James Harrison Taking Away Sons’ ‘Participation Trophies’

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Pittsburgh Steelers player James Harrison vented on social media Saturday after he learned his sons were given athletics “participation trophies.”

The NFL linebacker and two-time Super Bowl champion posted a photo on Instagram and wrote in part, “While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy.”

The post from the two-time Super Bowl champ and five-time Pro Bowler quickly went viral.

James Harrison Photo: ABC News

James Harrison
Photo: ABC News

“I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned,” he said. “I’m 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”

He ended the post with “#harrisonfamilyvalues.”

By Sunday, the photo had over 9,700 likes and more than a thousand comments, most of which were supportive.

“I am not a Steeler fan but I am a parenting fan. As a father of five beautiful children I support you 110%. I am now a @jhharrison92 fan!” one user wrote.

“Thank you for being so upstanding and example to all our children. Life is hard, you don’t get rewards for participation. #parentoftheyear,” said another.

Harrison had gotten attention in the past for turning down invites from two presidents to visit the White House after winning Super Bowls XL and XLIII.

“This is how I feel — if you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don’t win the Super Bowl. As far as I’m concerned, he [Obama] would’ve invited Arizona if they had won,” Harrison said then.

In March, the Steelers signed Harrison to a two-year contract.


  • Ray

    Good for him, as a Browns fan I hate him, but I commend his call on this. Kids are so freaking soft these days. “Bullying” gives kids character. This country is so soft and whiny, get off welfare and get a job. End welfare = rise of USA

  • stacy

    That’s not even fair I believe if your child tried their best Go practice everyday they deserves that trophy they they work hard I have six boys two girls in all of my children except for my youngest daughter has play football and I believe as long as they give it a hundred percent they deserve their trophy they’re out there everyday rain 90 degree weather w just like yourself and you believe you deserve Superbowl ring lets think about this

    • No News Here

      As the father of three boys, all of whom are in various sports, I respectfully disagree. Participation trophies were likely invented by the modern era soccer moms who thought Little Johnny should have a trophy just for showing up. No disrespect, but trophies, medals, rings, belts, etc must be earned. I coached from t-ball to little league as well as I and C team junior football. Not once did I hand out a trophy for showing up and trying your best. If we won the championship I proudly handed out trophies. If we did not win I rewarded the kids with a Knute Rockne-like speech and a pizza party. Sorry folks, bling is only for the team that earns it by winning it.

    • DB

      And, you, Stacy, are exactly why our country is going downhill, and why the next generation is and will continue to be a spoiled, entitled, and a lost crop of whiners, cry-babies, and under-achievers. You and your Dr. Spock mentality have created a lazy generation filled with angry kids who have lower (REAL) self-esteem and little or no clue about hard work or real “earned” success–and what it takes to achieve both. I’d be willing to bet that your kids will likely not possess the meddle it takes to succeed and will fail miserably in the face of any mearurable adversity–crumbling when things get tough. Congratulations, Mr. Harrison, for NOT bowing to this era of political correctness and the wussification of our kids, and for standing up for the values that made our country strong and far more globally.competitive. You’re teaching your children well–let’s pray others–including Stacy–learn the value of your example for the sake of their kids and our country as a whole.

    • Magic Mike XXSM

      .I can tell your political views, and how you vote just by your statements. I bet you will vote for lying Hillary Clinton next year……Myself playing in little leafier in the 60’s we didn’t have participation trophy’s , you either beat the teams in your division then won your championship game or you lost….
      2nd place is the first loser. Harrison is 100% correct……the country is going to hell in a hand basket because of people like you.

      • Jay

        Save the politics Mikey, because you’re full of excrement. James Harrison 100% correct / Bernie Sanders for POTUS.

    • Mandy

      Wow Stacy where does you and your husband work that you can afford all of those kids? Something tells me I just figured out your whole entitlement attitude.

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