Vrabel: NFLPA would have issue with Harrison fine

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Vrabel: NFLPA would have issue with Harrison fine

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
Mike Vrabel doesn't believe James Harrison should be fined for his verbal strafing of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The recently retired Vrabel, who's been deeply involved in talks to end the lockout, said on WEEI's Big Show on Friday that the NFLPA (though dissolved, we all know it never left and will soon return) "would have an issue if (Harrison) were suspended or fined.""I think there are things that you should be able to do and say - more importantly say," explained Vrabel. "(Harrison's comments are) not conduct detrimental to any team other than if (Steelers coach) Mike Tomlin had an issue with the way (Harrison) was referring to the Pittsburgh Steelers. "Roger's got big shoulders," Vrabel observed. "Roger understands. I would say to Roger or anybody else that had a problem with it, I would say what Bill (Belichick) said to us: To (those who) much is given, much is expected. And Roger is given a lot in form of compensation and being in the situation that he's in so there's a lot expected of him. And if that means taking the higher road and calling James and trying to figure out how to get this thing settled between them or whatever issue they have going on."Harrison will probably skate onusing the words "crook," "puppet" and "stupid" to describe Goodell. And you can't fine a man forproclaiming he would refuse to urinate onthe NFL commissionereven if said commissioner was engulfed in flames. But Harrison will probably get whacked for usingan anti-gay slur.The reason?Harrison doesn't work for the commissioner and should be able to express his beliefs, simplistic as they may be, but usinga word in a derogatory manner that offends a group is wrong. Unless you are a member of that group. Then nobody minds. Vrabel attempted to put some context into Harrison's words saying, "Do you think that Roger Goodell is a crook? I don't think that anyone would read that and think that he's somehow taking the money that James Harrison is fined and putting it in his pocket. I don't think anyone believes that. I think it was said as, 'Man, this guy is taking money from me fining me and my teammates and players around the league.' ...You just need to take it at 30,000 feet and move on."I know James Harrison is a heckuva player and one the Pittsbugh Steelers and their fans and coaches really enjoy and are glad he's on their team," added Vrabel. "As long as his teammates are fine with it, we support him as an association." Once this lockout ends, it will be interesting to see whether Goodell and the Steelers decide that, "What happens during the lockout, stays in the lockout."Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins' situation isn't far off from a character in HBO's "Ballers." And he played into those connections with a video on Twitter.

The slot receiver, who signed with the Patriots on Wednesday, shares some similarities with the fictional football player Rickey Jerret, a veteran receiver who wades through interest from a number of teams, including New England, during free agency. Because of those similarities, Hawkins spoofed on a scene from "Ballers" where Jerret works out with Patriots receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Hawkins imposes his face over Jerret's.