Steelers safety Ryan Clark joined the great Josina Anderson and Zubin Mehenti Saturday night for their NFL chat segment on KDVR Fox 31 in Denver for a lengthy interview. Anderson and Mehenti asked Clark about what he has been doing during the lockout and his thoughts on the recent explosive article on linebacker James Harrison in Men\’s Journal as well as his thoughts and other players thoughts on commissioner Roger Goodell as the lockout winds down.
In the first 5 minutes Clark was asked about several topics including the current state of the lockout before Anderson asked Clark his thoughts on the Harrison article and more specifically about the comments he made about about his teammates and him posing with the guns for the article. Clark replied, “The picture doesn\’t bother me, I think it\’s one of those situations that they\’re his and if there legal or if even if they\’re just toys taken for the picture, I don’t mind that. You know people do carry guns; it’s about being responsible with them. As far as Roger Goodell goes, I don’t really care about that. That’s the way James feels, a guy who was fined the way he was fined and talked to the way he was talked to is going to have some ill will or some ill feelings towards him. I was actually interviewed for the same article by the guy and I know he spent alot of time with James and alot of those things that he said were conversational, sometimes like a conversation you would have with somebody else where you’re just saying things and then just pieced together in that way. If you look at the way the question or the subtitles were before each statement, they would just say, on Ben Roethlisberger, because it wasn’t a question that he asked and all those things were said consecutively. He kind of pieced it together from things he got from the conversation. You have to know when dealing with the media, even though I know you guys are media, you job is sensationalism sometimes. You want to get the juicy story. James through talking to him gave the guy the opportunity to make the story as juicy as possible. I’ve talked to him on the phone, he\’s talked to Ben and we\’re fine. The whole NFL is very happy, I\’m seeing on Twitter they think the Steelers are falling apart and you know I think they\’re crazy. We\’re still going to go out here and play football.
Anderson next asked Clark if the Steelers needed a PR makeover when you look at all the off field transgressions that the Steelers players have had over the last few offseasons that include Harrison, Ben Roethlisberger, Rashard Mendenhall and Hines Ward. Clark said, “I think they will handle it well. If you look at the guys you are talking about, extremely good community guys and good men. People make mistakes. The thing about Rashard\’s tweet I think that is just so minimal for us to even be talking about that is crazy. Ben\’s past things, you know that\’s over. He has moved on past that, he\’s become a better man, a better leader, a better teammate and we\’re fine with that. So all of these little things that are happening, you know sometimes they happen. Sometimes they happen in threes, sometimes they happen in fours and just for us, you know it’s been kind of one of those offseasons, but we are going to be fine. The Rooney’s understand the type of people that we have in the building, the type people that we have on our team and its not just about the players, they know the men, so I think we\’ll be good.
Anderson asked if Clark was OK with the statement Harrison made about not stopping to piss on Goodell if he was on fire and would essential leave him to die. Clark said, “It\’s not about whether I\’m OK with it you know, it\’s about whether James and whatever God he prays to. You know me being a Christian, it\’s about him getting on his knees at night and understanding what he said and how he feels. You know James came out and he said what he said. I think what people are doing is, you know, that\’s a statement that\’s made in slang or in just every day by somebody. Clearly in that situation it\’s going to be blown out of proportion, because James Harrison is an All-Pro player and Roger Goodell is the commissioner and I think what really bothers me is the way people get holier than thou when these things happen.
Lastly Clark was asked by Mehenti about what the players really think about Goodell as the lockout is winding down and the perception of him as a whole around the league. Clark replied, “Clearly players don\’t see him as an ally, players don’t see him as working for us. When his turn came around for him to be reelected or reappointed to commissioner, that poll wasn’t given to us. We didn\’t have a vote in that, so we know he\’s not here for us, he\’s here for the NFL, he\’s here for the owners and that\’s all he cares about. We also know that they will recycle us. You know when they\’re done, we\’re all used up and we they cant make anymore money of the players, you know Roger Goodell will just get new ones and I think he in some way has made himself the face of the league so in some ways you\’re going to be part of this scrutiny. Do I think he cares about us as people other than players? I don\’t. Do I think he cares about the shield? Maybe he does, and he cares about himself. So God willing with him having that type of attitude and looking at going about things that way, he won’t run this league into the ground.”
You can watch the full interview below on Youtube: