NFL Star Takes Away Sons’ ‘Participation’ Awards: ‘EARN a Real Trophy’

Monica Sanchez | August 17, 2015
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Some parents and school faculty believe that giving kids awards to acknowledge their participation in certain sports and activities gives them something to show for their effort. Joining or playing on a sports team no doubt takes courage on the part of a child.

But other parents believe giving out awards just for participating sends kids the wrong message.

After finding out that his two sons received “participation trophies” from their youth sports league Next Level Athletics, father and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison took to social media to explain why he’s strongly against the practice:

“I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies!” he wrote.

“While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy.”

Image via ESPN

A two-time Super Bowl champion, Harrison continued,

“I'm sorry I'm not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I'm not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best...

"Cause sometimes your best is not enough," he said, "and that should drive you to want to do better...not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy."


A photo posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on

Since speaking his mind via his Instagram account, the NFL star has received thousands of likes and comments praising his remarks.

Do you agree with his stance? Do you think Harrison was right to return his sons’ awards? Let us know in the comments section below! 

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