Last week it was reported that the NFL had scheduled interviews with four players that were named in Al-Jazeera's December report that linked athletes to performance enhancing drugs. One of those players is Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, whose interview was scheduled for the first day of training camp. Late Sunday night, Harrison went on a spree of Instagram posts that shed some additional light on what, exactly, is going on here.
First, Harrison posted the full text of the letter he received from Adolpho Birch, the NFL's senior vice president of law and labor policy:
As you can see, the letter alleges that the NFLPA has been delaying these interviews, and mentions the interview date for Harrison. Harrison then posted a letter the NFLPA has previously sent Birch, which explains why it feels an interview is not warranted:
The allegations against Harrison (and the other players named in the report) were recanted by the person who made them -- Charlie Sly. For that reason, the NFLPA requested that the NFL produce additional evidence that warrants an interview on the subject of performance enhancing drugs. Apparently, it still has not received such additional evidence, and so it had refused to schedule interviews with its members.
Harrison posted a statement from the NFLPA on that specific issue as well:
After that, Harrison posted his own message, which laid out the conditions under which he will consent to an interview with the NFL on the subject of performance enhancing drugs.
Based on the way the NFL has previously handled players not complying with their demands in cases like this, I would imagine Harrison is not going to get an interview on his terms. If the Tom Brady Deflategate case can be used as precedent (which, considering the NFL's use of "your full cooperation with the investigation was expected and required" in its letter to Harrison, it seems like it might be), he might even be suspended simply for failing to cooperate with the investigation. That's just how the NFL rolls.