James Harrison won’t sue Al Jazeera after consulting lawyers

James Harrison will not sue Al Jazeera over the network's allegations against him.
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

By Jesse Reed

Peyton Manning made all the headlines, but he wasn’t the only NFL player named in the Al Jazeera “The Dark Side” special report. James Harrison was also named. But unlike Peyton Manning, who is strongly considering a defamation suit against the media outlet, Harrison isn’t going to go that route.

The reason? His lawyers told him it’s not worth the trouble.

Harrison adamantly denied having taken the banned substance Delta-2 on Sunday. The substance is not a steroid but is “steroidal in nature,” per Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“He has never supplied me with anything,” Harrison said. “I never took steroids – point, blank, period, end of discussion.”

The “he” in this discussion is Charlie Sly, a former intern at the Guyer Institute, an anti-aging clinic that has been allegedly supplying pro athletes with its product. Sly came out with a statement in which he retracted anything that was used in the Al Jazeera documentary — a strange recording in which he was clearly reading a statement (watch here).

Harrison’s continued strong play at the age of 37 is remarkable. He has five sacks this season and has been a driving force on Pittsburgh’s struggling defense all year long.

When it comes to public persona, however, he can’t compare to Manning, who has built an empire on his good old boy appeal. The allegations from the Al Jazeera documentary could hurt him much more than they could hurt Harrison, which is likely why his lawyers poo-pooed the idea of going after the media company.

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