Alas, Troglopundit beat me to it. Smart man that he is, I don't agree with Trog's conclusion that Harrison's position means he thinks "merit sucks." Considering Harrison was the defensive player of the year--a meritorious achievement, indeed--I think we can safely say that's not the case. Watch this awesome video for further proof.
Merit aside, what is particularly interesting about all this is a question posed to reporters by Harrison himself:
"Let me ask you a question. Why is it a big issue now that I'm not going if it wasn't a big issue the last time?"
I don't want to turn this into one of those "because the media has a permanent ticket on the Barack Obama Bandwagon Express" rants, but in this case, that may be the most logical explanation. Harrison doesn't want to meet the Big O! A pox upon him, says the media. Where was their outrage when Harrison turned down the opportunity to me G.W. in 2006? As Harrison himself notes, it was noticeably absent:
I'm surprised they're making a big deal about it. 'Oh my, James Harrison isn't going to the White House, he must be a devil worshiper.'(I'm sure the media would love to attribute the move to racism, buuuuut since Harrison's black, they've got to go with the devil worship. Of course, it makes sense: he is refusing to meet with the "Messiah.")
Further to his credit, he goes on to say that he's a football player who has nothing to do with politics. Hat tip to Mr. Harrison for recognizing that fame and fortune do not a political savant make. Someone should pass the memo along to all those red-carpeters turned liberal spokesmen.
Harrison sums up the story with this: "Really, I could care less about the reaction. That's my decision and I'm sticking with it."