James Harrison Clarifies Stance on Anthem Protests in Wake of Fake Tweet

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2017

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison (92) during an NFL training camp football practice at Heinz Field, Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison debunked a fake tweet Thursday regarding his feelings on players protesting during the national anthem. 

According to Jonathan Jones of SI.com, Harrison told The MMQB the following about players sitting out the anthem: "That's up to the individual. If they feel like that's something they want to do, that's their right."

Harrison's comment came after a fake tweet reading, "Anyone on my team sits for the anthem, they better be in a wheelchair," was falsely attributed to him and circulated on the internet, per TMZ Sports.

While that tweet was posted a few days ago, it wasn't the first time Harrison was the target of a Twitter hoax surrounding the anthem.

According to Jones, a Photoshopped tweet that said, "If you are on my team and not standing for Anthem better be because a broken leg or I'm gonna give you one. #EyesonuCK," made the rounds last year as well.

The 39-year-old veteran spoke to the importance of not believing everything on the internet: "I mean, I guess it speaks to the gullibility of people. Just because you read something on social media doesn't make it true. If you were to do that and believe everything that you hear or see, written or there, the world would be in a real bad place. And we're already in a tough place now."

National anthem protests first reached the forefront last preseason when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and current free agent Colin Kaepernick sat or kneeled for the anthem to protest police brutality and social injustice.

It has remained a topic of conversation during the 2017 preseason with several players, including Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, sitting or kneeling during the anthem.