(CNN) – The Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers made the traditional winner's trip to the White House Thursday - but one of the team's star players was conspicuously missing from the lineup.
Linebacker James Harrison told reporters earlier this week he'd be a no-show at the White House. He denied any political motivation for his decision. "This is how I feel - if you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl. As far as I'm concerned, he would've invited Arizona if they had won," said Harrison, who later joked that he was staying away because the White House was located in a "bad neighborhood."
This isn't the first time Harrison has declined an invitation to visit 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue - he turned down an invite from former President Bush after the Steelers won Super Bowl XL. "Let me ask you a question," he said Wednesday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Why is it a big issue now that I'm not going if it wasn't a big issue the last time?
"...Hey, James ain't changed. I guess my profile did, but I didn't change. I'm not going because I don't want to go," he said. "They're making a big deal out of this: 'Oh, my, James Harrison is not going to the White House; he must be a devil worshipper!'"
Teammates have said the linebacker - whose 100-yard touchdown with an interception made Super Bowl history this year - is uncomfortable flying.
Harrison's boss, Steelers owner Dan Rooney, was a major supporter of President Obama's 2008 campaign, and was recently appointed ambassador to Ireland.The president openly rooted for a Steelers victory this year.
–CNN's Xuan Thai contributed to this report
Harrison has always been a jerk. Now that he caught a ball and ran 100 yards, and signed a big contract worth millions he has advanced to the self absorbed morons club.
The difference now is that the progressive media is run by the state. And that makes any embrassment to the state, personal to the progressive media. Notice that its only they who protest your decision..
Okay, so you don't need a ring either.....the only reason why they are giving you a ring is because you won?! Seeing the President is part of the package along with the ring. Stupid! You wonder why people think jocks are lug heads!
That guy Harrison is a moron. I don't believe he has to go to the White House but his arguement for not going would be an insult to a 5 year old. Its a good thing he can play football becasue his reasoning ability would have him sweeping streets if this is indicative of how his brain works.
The Steelers rule!!
Harrison can do what he wants. I wouldn't go to the White House, either. Regardless of who it was or what party.
Wow, what's with all these celebrities parading through the White House?
Did we elect a president or a movie star?
I would avoid Obummer too
RealityKing needs to stop drinking the FAUX News Kool Aid.
"This is how I feel — if you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl. As far as I'm concerned, he would've invited Arizona if they had won," said Harrison.
yeah, the winner of the Super Bowl gets invited tot he White House...did anybody explain this to him? The exposure of ignorance is saddening.
well so much for that Limbaugh myth that ALL Black people support and worship Obama,,,,,,
Mike Steele and Judge Thomas don't count!
It looks like he missed a wonderful time. Too bad.
More Borack Obama's. Steal the White House. Just because they are Black?
This has NOTHING TO DO WITH OBAMA..he skipped the White House invite when BUSH WAS PRESIDENT TOO...he said he didn't want to go...move on...
Robin, all SuperBowl champs visit the White House..just like the NBA Champs, the NCAA Champs, etc....that has ALWAYS been the case....
@Obama Victim...I'm sure you'll NEVER be invited anyway so you have nothing to worry about....
OMG big news here. Harrison never went to the White House during Bush's term either.
The Steelers really ought to have a CT done on this guy's brain. Way too much football!
He gives new meaning to the term "dumb jock"
He skipped out on meeting Bush once also. He's annoyed that Obama is meeting with the winners Who else would he meet with you fool, the losers?
Who cares. If someone doesn't want to go, they don't want to go. Obviously a "super reporter from CNN" has nothing else in this world to report on.
Ha ha! I can't stop laughing when I hear his LAME excuse!
"He would've invited the Cardinals had they won"........Yes he would have. That's the tradition!
Why doesn't he just come out and admit he is afraid of airplanes. Sheesh!
I don't like flying either.
This dude is a headcase.
James – the world doesn't revolve around you. Sorry to point that out.
Did we elect a president or a movie star?
Robin you do realize that all presidents, not just Obama, have invited the champions of leagues to the White House.
Ok so the winning team was invited to the White House and one player declined the invite...end of story?
Who cares? Why is this a story? So a football player didn't want to go to the White House to meet the president. Hard-hitting reporting.
Just had a thought, visitors to meet Obama have to go through a security check, I wonder what Harrison is afraid of?