Today, the Pittsburgh Steelers voted against the ratification of the new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFL players association based on their concern that it doesn’t sufficiently address the league's systems of fines, on and off the field.
The Steelers have been vocal against the NFL commissioner’s role with disciplinary actions since last season, when Harrison was fined $125,000 for “illegal hits.” Today, the all-time leading Super Bowl organization officially declared their stance against the NFL, and ultimately Roger Goodell himself.
The Steelers' rhetoric has become more direct as of late, especially considering James Harrison’s recent Men's Journal interview in which he called Roger Goodell “dumb,” a “puppet,” a “devil” and asserted that, "If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn't do it. I hate him and will never respect him."
Though James Harrison has been the most vocal and hostile Steeler, many others within the Steelers organization have voiced their displeasure in a civil manner, the latest being safety Ryan Clark. However, even golden boy Troy Polamalu, Coach Mike Tomlin and president Art Rooney II have made their displeasure with the league’s new approach known since 2010.
The CBA isn’t in jeopardy because of the Steelers' vote, but it's interesting to see one of the most prominent and highly respected NFL organizations take a hard stance against the commissioner's jury, judge and executioner roles with on- and off-the-field issues. Something tells me this story is just getting started.