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Why James Harrison’s anger about NFL PED testing is slightly displaced

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James Harrison is mad at the NFL for being tested again for PEDs, but his anger might be slightly displaced.

NFL: AFC Wild Card-Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

James Harrison is mad.

Not that this state of mind is that out of the ordinary for the Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker, but he is specifically mad at the NFL for yet another Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) test on Tuesday.

Harrison took to Instagram to show the test, and to talk about how he doesn’t feel the tests are all that “random”. Check out the posts:


A post shared by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on

Look, I get it. It has to be frustrating for Harrison, who works his tail off, to be tested repeatedly for PEDs, when he has never tested positive once, but does Harrison actually have a gripe with the NFL?

Per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the NFLPA and NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) state players can be tested up to six times in an offseason.

NFL players can be tested up to six times in an offseason, according to the collective bargaining agreement, but Harrison has suggested in the past that he's been unfairly targeted and has been known to joke about the league's drug-testing tendencies.

Harrison's agent, Bill Parise, said Harrison is tested frequently, but "they have the right to test him and we understand that."

Harrison certainly could talk to teammates, and friends around the league, and ask if they have been tested this offseason, and if they haven’t, he could see the process as clear discrimination. However, if other players are also being tested in the offseason, where is the targeting?

Harrison can’t honestly look at himself from an outsider’s perspective and not understand why he has been tested so much. He may not like it, but he also has to see the correlation between social perception and reality.

The 39 year-old linebacker posts ridiculous workout videos on a daily basis on his verified Instagram account, was mentioned in the Al-Jazeera America report last year and has been openly against the NFL and Roger Goodell.

The NFL states they have no clue how players are chosen to be test, per Fowler:

League testing, done by an independent administrator, uses a computer program to randomly select players for samples. The NFL doesn't have access to that system, which can test 10 players each week.

Fans will likely stand up for Harrison, and rightfully so, but if you put your fanhood aside for a second, you can see the NFL is doing nothing against the rules, and Harrison making the process so public can’t make his situation any better.

As for the future and Harrison’s testing schedule, the NFL has three more tests before the players report to Saint Vincent College for training camp on July 27th. Deebo might want to free up his schedule.

I talk about all this, and more, in the above podcast. Give it a listen!

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