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NFL Linebacker Holds His Kids Participation Trophies Until They “Earn a Real Trophy”

“I'm not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned.”

Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebacker James Harrison knows all about earning things the hard way. He’s been a force of nature throughout his NFL career, earning two Super Bowl rings, five All-Pro appearances, and is entering his 14th grueling professional season. So when his two boys came home this week with participation trophies, Harrison took to Instagram to blow off some steam.

I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! 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. 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, 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. #harrisonfamilyvalues


Harrison’s actions have added to the ongoing debate in the U.S. over “entitlement culture.” Should parents, coaches, and teachers award children for simply participating or should trophies be reserved for those that truly excel? By rewarding average performance do we perpetuate mediocrity? Or does improving a child’s self-esteem help them grow into confident, well-adjusted adults? Judging by Harrison’s Instagram post, it appears many of his fans agree with him and would like to see the participation trophy kicked through the uprights.

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(H/T USA Today)

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