Steelers linebacker James Harrison returned to practice on Thursday and issued the statement below to the media. He did not take questions after practice.
Official James Harrison Statement
“After having some time to think about the situation, talk to my family, friends and the Steelers organization, I have come to the decision that I cannot and will not let the league office stop me from playing the game I love.
“I am all for player safety and I agree that some of the rule changes that have been made are good for the game. As far as my situation, I believe the hit against Massaquoi for which I was fined was legal and well within the scope of the rules. I feel the real reason for the fine was the statement I made after the game wherein I said that I try to hurt people, not injure them. In the same sentence, I attempted to clarify my meaning, but I understand that my comments leave a lot open to interpretation. The statement was not well-thought out and I did not adequately convey my meaning.
“I apologize for making that statement and I want it to be known that I have never and would never intentionally try to injure any player. I believe that my statements, along with the hits that happened in other games this past Sunday and the subsequent media storm, are the reasons I was fined on what I know was a clean hit.
“I will not retire from the NFL. I will continue to play the game with the same passion, intensity and focus with which I have always played and let the chips fall where they may. I have never given up, quit or walked away from anything in my life and I am not about to start now. I will not let down my family, friends or the Steelers Nation.”