(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
I guess he's not getting the attention he needs from football......
This is just moronic.
How is this news?
Why is this relevent?
what a jerk. 'nuff said.
The American Situation? Is there realy "room" for conflict. Who is drunk with power? You assume too much CNN, and know so very little.
obaaaaaaaaaaaama...come on sheeple, he isn't the change we've been asking for. his campaign made a lot of promises but just do a little research and watch the obama deception to see what he's actually done
@MD – you just go ahead and go but keep you bad English to yourself – I don't blame the man as I wouldn't go either! And I believe the proper term is "sitting". I wouldn't think of Obama as a "place setting" of dinnerware. He is a "sitting" President of the .....
Harrison just proves what most of us already knew... The bad guys won that super bowl.
a Mut! Is a type of Dog.
The President and First Lady have made it very clear that they want the White House to be the people's house. Lots of different people get invited: school children, activists, musicians, athletes, regular folk who are lucky. If Harrison doesn't want to go, let someone else go in his place!
Not going is rude and speaking to the press about is is even worse.
Who cares? Give me a break. Let's move on.
Mr. Harrison the reason it's a "big thing" now, is because it's Obama you're not going to see. God forbid, you treat him the same as any other past president.
Its a free country , he can do what he wants.
He turn down Bush as well so why is it a big deal Repnuts?
"phoenix86" He said it wasn't politcal. You twit. READ the article.
The Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers made the traditional winner's trip to the White House Thursday.......
As far as I'm concerned, he would've invited Arizona if they had won.....
Um. Who cares? He didn't see Bush, he doesn't want to see Obama. Big deal.
Not much of a football fan, but James Harrison sounds like an arrogant jerk.
Here's a quarter sports fans, call someone who cares!
You mean he didn't goto the Messiah's party!!! Behead him!!! Please, I would of showed up just so I could have told Obama what I thought of him, then the cops would have had to drag me off.
Who gives a --? It's like when you throw a party-you invite people but don't MAKE them show up.
Why are we even concerned with who is visiting the White House. I could care less whether or not key players did not attend. Many of them don't attend. And the point is......
He's really showing how stupid he is. He needs to look at the bigger picture, he has a chance to meet the first Black President and he turns it down. This is something he could have told his kids, on second thought hopefully someone that stupid won't have kids and pass those traits on to them.
I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan and I was pulling for Arizona, so I could careless that that guy didn't go to the White House. I was so hoping that the not miss guy and his team would lose. I don't think it bother the President that he didn't show up. One thing I agree with this guy, what's his name? Why make a big deal out of it. It's not like it was Kobe Bryant or Lebron James.
If the football player was white it would be racism.
Hey, if the man wants to go through life based on idiotic logic, then that's his prerogative. I mean seriously, "if you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl"? Really? Okay dude. Enjoy life in dumb-ville....