clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Steelers James Harrison's parenting decisions really nobody's business

Steelers LB James Harrison took to Instagram on Sunday to let people know his two sons had 'participation trophies' taken away from them because he said they should 'earn' such a reward. JP says the media hoopla around it is a simple case of none of your business.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Parenting in 2015 is very much a communal affair. We live in the age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other social media sites where our every move is charted, stored for public consumption and then of course the opinions of others who will either support or lend their thoughts otherwise to what they see.

It's this PC era we all live in that has me tied in knots about what James Harrison announced on Sunday regarding a parenting decision he made about a recent movement in the youth sports world where every kid gets a trophy, just for showing up.

Yep. That's right. If you haven't already heard, there are quite a few organizations that do this. Give a child a 'participation' trophy for just competing, even if they don't win a game or hit a home run. Little Johnny and Suzie will be sure to go home with a smile after getting what many are calling a harmful does of unreality.

Harrison took to Instagram on Sunday to explain that his two sons had been give small trophies for participating in activities at Next Level Athletics. Deebo was quick to the point saying he found his boys had received two trophies for what he described as 'nothing but participation trophies.'

Harrison continued, stating that 'he is proud of boys for everything they do, and will encourage them until the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy.'

The sack machine would go on to say his kids would still be encouraged to participate but in good sense he could not see them getting something they were not entitled to receive because they tried their best. As he would point out, sometimes your best just isn't good enough.

As you can imagine the post has seen quite a bit of reaction not just in the social media-verse, but of course the local news stations picked up on it also. Hey, if it's on Instagram, it must be news right? Well, one local station took it too far. Without naming who, at the end of their story, viewers were encouraged to go to the TV station's website and vote if you agree or disagree with what Harrison did.

Really? Are we now at the point where the opinions of others are needed to shed further light onto one man's decision on how to raise his kids?

The point is this. It's really nobody's business as to what decisions James Harrison makes about his kids and how he parents them. Without going into how I feel (it's not relevant), why would some TV station care to further solicit the opinion of others, other than to just generate some extra clicks on the old web-o-page?

When are we going to stop intruding on the decisions of others? When will the madness stop as to why we want to butt into things that really don't matter in our world? Harrison did open himself up when he made the public statements he did, but really in the end, can we just look at him as a parent making a decision that he feels will help his kids become better adults?

If you agree or disagree with what James Harrison did, it's really not of interest to me, or him. He's one parent who will do what he feels best is for his kids and in the end, that's all that matters.

Not what Joe from Blawnox feels about it all.

John Phillips is the author of this article. He works for CBS Radio Pittsburgh, doing sports updates and reporting for 93.7 The Fan and News Radio 1020 KDKA when needed.  Follow JP on Twitter @PGHJohnPhillips