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Steelers OLB James Harrison and the value of EARN

James Harrison is an incredible competitor. He has worked hard and had to earn everything he has received through 14 years in the NFL. Now, he attempts to teach his two sons the same lesson in a unique way.

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James Harrison is a fierce competitor who through low odds and the highest level of work has earned great accolades and a nice living for his family without ever settling for being middle of the road. And despite a 14-year career in the NFL where he now has the means to hand them anything and everything, James expects his two sons to live by the same work ethic that he has always subscribed to. EARN.

The Steeler linebacker, who often features his two boys on social media, posted his disapproval of Henry and James III receiving participation trophies. The Harrison sons will be returning the awards as stated in their dad's proclamation below.

jhharrison92 - I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! 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. I'm sorry I'm not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and 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...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. #harrisonfamilyvalues

The story of James Harrison's journey to greatness is a true "rags to riches" tale. The undrafted defender from Kent State was cut four times by the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2002 to 2004. The future NFL Defensive Player of the Year consider giving up and becoming a truck driver like his father, but his never-give-up attitude prevented him from doing so. After a stint in NFL Europe playing for the Rhein Fire, a weight-lifting injury to Clark Haggans in training camp gave the persevering James a roster spot in 2004. Finally in 2004, Harrison got a chance to start a November game against the Browns due to Joey Porter's pre-game punching-out of Cleveland's William Green. The current Steelers outside linebackers coach was ejected and James capitalized by having a solid outing and the rest of his story is etched into Steeler lore.

When you struggled to make it like Harrison had, you embrace and take pride earning what you get. It's refreshing to see Harrison taking a stand against the participation trophy and teaching his offspring the value of earning and appreciating what they achieve.

Henry and James III will be better for it. And if we as a society adopt this policy, our children may be better for it.