Dumb or Misguided?: NFL Player Decides To Skip Invitation To The White House and Meet Obama


D044972035.jpgBarack HeadShot

By Gary Johnson

I wish I didn’t feel the need to write this commentary.  I don’t like putting people on “blast.”  However, if your actions warrant that you need to be taken to the woodshed, then let’s go and get it over with.

While watching the news yesterday my attention was drawn to a segment where James Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers refused an invitation to visit the White House and meet with President Obama. Harrison says he does not believe the invitation is all that special.  “I don’t feel the need to go, actually,” Harrison told Pittsburgh station WTAE-TV. “I don’t feel like it’s that big a deal to me.”

Hey, that’s his choice.  Harrison is consistent on this issue.  He skipped his visit to the White House in 2006 when the Steelers were invited by President George W. Bush. Seems like he hasn’t learned much in two years.  Perhaps, James Harrison is a very deep thinking, introspective guy who really sees no value in accepting an invitation to the White House to meet the President of the United States.  It’s possible!

Teammates describe James Harrison as an “individualist.”  If you read the papers, most people think he’s a “dumb ass” with no sense of history.  I really don’t understand why the media continues to put a microphone in the face of athletes, particularly the ones who have proven that they don’t know a damn thing about current events or history.  At this point, I don’t know if he’s a “dumb ass.”  He appears to be pretty ignorant.  I feel more comfortable saying that Harrison is probably terribly misguided.

I’m sure Harrison is well compensated for being the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. However, his actions and statements prove that no amount of money can buy “common sense” and respect.  Harrison may be a “smart” guy on the football field, but he also appears to be short-sighted and uninformed.

Barack Obama is a historical figure in our history.  Forget the fact that he is the first black President—he is the President of the United States of America.  Where is your sense of history?

I remember when I was asked to work at the White House.  I was 23 years old and asked my mother if I should take the job.  My mother looked at me and replied with a question.  “How many times do you think you will have this opportunity?”  Enough said.  I took the job.

Let me be clear.  Harrison has every right to pass on his invitation to visit the White House and meet the President.  And I have every right to think that he is misguided to the point of being a dumb ass.  The dude “doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.”  I believe that years from now he may look back on this decision and try and kick his own ass.

Having worked inside the White House, I can tell you, politics aside; it is an honor and a privilege to be invited to meet the President of the United States regardless of who he or she is.

Look, if the dude doesn’t want to go to the White House to meet President Obama leave him alone.  Let him stay home.  James Harrison is out to prove a point.  There’s something to be said about being your own man and making your own decisions, even if they go against the grain.  I’m not sure if it’s the point that he wants to prove.  The only thing Harrison has proven to me is that having a high IQ on the football field, doesn’t always translate to having a high IQ off of the field.

Gary Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In America.com a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In America.com Blog. Gary is also the author of the new book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.”

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6 Responses to “Dumb or Misguided?: NFL Player Decides To Skip Invitation To The White House and Meet Obama”

  1. I might agree with Harris. If you don’t care about meeting the queen then does that make you dumb? It doesn’t help or hurt anything if you are your own man. Some people, and there are a lot of us; don’t care about these titles and criticism that comes from not wanting to meet the Great Wizard! To each his own as maybe the person Harris does admire you would not even show up to your book signed. What I am saying is just because you and a million other people think someone is great doesn’t mean when someone doesn’t share in your view that they are dumb asses. Some people are actually beyond titles and BS history and see people as just another man. When Princess Diana died in the car accident did you cry? But if you were in England people would think what’s wrong with you right?

  2. Well stated FreeMan Press, well stated.

  3. Fernando Says:

    Where were you when Harris decided not to visit the White House when Bush was in office? But now that he doesent visit Obama, he is a “dumb ass.” I’m beginning to see a double standard here. You go out of your way to insult this man for being his own judge of what is important to him. For being independant. Please think about what you would have written in 2006 when he didn’t meet Bush. I don’t think you would have insulted him to the extent you did.

  4. James Harris refuses to be exploited in photo op by president.

    Why did Obama invite Harris to the White House? Only to show that he is a regular guy who likes football. It was simply a dog and pony show for the press and James Harris refused to be either the dog or the pony. Good for him.

  5. DebbieGeorge…

    […]Dumb or Misguided?: NFL Player Decides To Skip Invitation To The White House and Meet Obama « Black Men In America[…]…

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