Hours before Steelers draft him, player hosts party at homeless shelter where he, siblings used to live

OAKLAND, CA- On the one hand in professional sports, you have crybaby and social justice warrior LeBron James. He might be able to learn something from a rookie football player just drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Najee Harris.

While most NFL draft picks were in Cleveland, waiting for their name to be called by an NFL general manager, Harris was home in Oakland with family and friends, among them Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters.

The new Pittsburgh Steelers running back had just left the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program, a homeless shelter where Harris lived with his mom and four siblings when he was 12-years-old when he was selected by Pittsburgh.

What was Harris doing there? Throwing a draft party for the kids at the homeless shelter, according to Sports Illustrated, representing a homecoming of sorts for the #24 pick in the NFL Draft.

Kathleen Sullivan, executive director of the program told ABC 7 News:

“Just to see him as a grown man with this kind of opportunity for him today and to know that he lived in this shelter among many other places their family had to move around and lives as a homeless man just speaks to [the thought that] anything is possible,’ she said of the former Alabama star.

Harris didn’t just stop in to watch the NFL draft with the residents of the shelter, but he also brought food for the current residents.

Speaking to reporters, he said, “There was a time I needed a helping hand. They gave us an opportunity to get back on our feet. So it is my job to give back.”

CBS Sports said that Harris was modest about the outreach, saying he was just happy to be able to give back to somewhere that had been there for he and his family.

“Doing this really makes me and my family feel better, just giving appreciation and everything,” he told KRON.

“It’s a subject, especially in the Bay Area, that needs to get shed light on. The more that we are together, the more we can make everything happen, especially in good ways.

You know for me moving up I’m getting more attention, more cameras and stuff, that’s good. Because it’s shedding more light on the situation.”

The leaders of the shelter are hopeful that Harris can serve as a role model for children currently housed there.

As to the Steelers, they were thrilled to be able to select Harris, the top running back in this year’s draft.

Both coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert also didn’t hold back on their excitement in being able to select the talented running back, who won the Doak Walker Award and helped lead Alabama to a national title in 2020.

“We’re ecstatic about netting Najee,” said Colbert. “He was a durable player in an NFL-type running offense in what is one of the toughest leagues in college football.”

Harris was the first time the Steelers have selected a running back in 13 years.

“He’s a guy that comes to us with a professional level of conditioning,” Tomlin gushed.

“Along with his pedigree, I think [his conditioning] be a catalyst for him to be an immediate component to our offense and to our team. A lot to be excited about tonight…we were very excited that he was there for us. He’s an exciting player, a three-dimensional running back coming form a professional offensive system. He’s made NFL runs his whole career.”

At Alabama, Harris was one of the Crimson Tide’s most explosive players, rushing for 1,224 yards and averaging 5.9 yards per carry as a junior in 2019. Although he could have entered the draft last year, he decided to return to Alabama as they battled for the NCAA championship.

The Doak Walker Award is given to the country’s top running back this past season, rushing for 1,466 yards.

Here is hoping that Harris maintains his maturity and willingness to remember where he came from as he already seems to. He looks to be mature beyond his years.

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Last year, we reported on the mix between sports and politics, and how former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre said sports and politics should remain separate. For more on that, we invite you to:


WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a town hall taped at the White House, Brett Favre asked President Donald Trump a question that many are wondering.

He inquired about recent efforts made by professional sports leagues supporting Black Lives Matter messages.

The president was taking questions from an audience assembled for an episode of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s “America This Week” when host Eric Bolling said that “a friend of mine” insisted on submitting a question via video.

It turned out to be the former Green Bay Packers quarterback Favre, who asked:

“The NBA and the NFL are struggling with lower ratings, as fans clearly do not want political messaging mixed with their sports. So how should the leagues support and promote an anti-racism position without becoming political and alienating fans?”

During the town hall, after calling Favre “a great guy,” “a champion” and “a winner,” Trump answered:

“People don’t want to see all of the politics. They’ve got enough politics, with me and with everybody else. And they don’t want to see it with football or sports, on Sunday or whenever they happen to be watching.”

Trump claimed that ratings for the NBA Finals, which concluded earlier this month with a victory by the Los Angeles Lakers over the Miami Heat, were “down 70 percent, more than that.” He added that “the NFL’s way down.”

Ratings for the NBA Finals this year were down 49 percent from last year when they were staged in their traditional May-June period and were the least-watched on record. Through Week 5, the NFL’s ratings were down 13 percent according to the New York Times.

According to the apologetic liberal media, those decreases in viewership likely can’t be attributed entirely to shows of social activism by sports leagues, particularly given that they represent the continuation of years-long trends, which may have been exacerbated during the pandemic. 

To Trump, though, the leagues’ push into social activism have had:

“A huge negative impact on sports.  I think that football ought to get back to football and basketball to basketball. And let politics remain separate.”

Trump continued:

“If people want to protest, they can. But they shouldn’t be protesting on the sidelines during the football game, especially when they are making $10 million a year for something that they’d be doing anyway, for free if they weren’t in the NFL or the NBA.”

Favre has expressed far more admiration for Kaepernick than Trump, a frequent and vehement critic of the former quarterback. He has also offered complimentary words for Trump, with whom he played a round of golf in July. In a tweet Mark Knoller wrote: 

“At his NJ golf club this evening, Pres Trump attended a fundraiser hosted by @AmericaFirstPact, a SuperPAC devoted to his reelection. Earlier in the day, WH posted photo of him playing golf with Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre. (WH Photo by Tia Dufour)”

Favre, referring to Trump said earlier this month:

“I think he’s done a good job for our country.”

In answering Favre’s question about how sports leagues could “promote an anti-racism position without becoming political and alienating fans,” Trump replied:

“They want to have these players stand and salute or put their hand over their heart or at least stand for the national anthem and salute.”

Trump concluded by suggesting a way for pro sports to get the fans back:

“They’re going to have to start respecting our country. It’s very simple. And you start by respecting our flag.”

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But has major league sports really floundered due to their political activism? 

Historical racial oppression has been at the forefront of a national conversation since the killing in May of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police.

The NBA and NFL have been extremely vocal in their support of Black Lives Matter, calling attention to recent tragedies in Minneapolis, Louisville with Breonna Taylor, and Wisconsin with Jacob Blake, by wearing social justice messages and, in the NFL’s case, painting “End racism” in each end zone.

The NFL has gone all-in for the Black Lives Matter agenda with sloganeering on helmets and jerseys, BLM painted on the sidelines, a virtual avalanche of race-baiting posts on every social media platform, and tens of millions donated to various BLM-styled organizations and programs.

The NFL painted the messages “End racism” and “It takes all of us” in its end zones. Other nods to social justice included allowing teams to honor victims by displaying their names on players’ helmets and allowing coaches to wear patches on their hats with phrases such as “Stop Hate,” “It Takes All Of Us,” “End Racism” and “Black Lives Matter.”

The NFL is, of course, not alone. The ultra-woke NBA has also indulged constant political activity on and off the court. When the NBA returned to play in July, the league took several steps to raise awareness of systemic racism.

“Black Lives Matter” was painted on courts, and players were allowed to wear messages on their jerseys such as “I Can’t Breathe,” “Justice,” “Enough,” “Power to the People,” “Say Her Name,” “Respect Us,” “Anti-Racist,” “I Am A Man,” and “How Many More.”

The question comes after the NBA suffered low ratings during the league’s finals after months of players and teams vocalizing their support for Black Lives Matter both on and off the court. 


The 2020 NBA Playoffs averaged 3.04 million viewers across ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV (83 telecasts). This is down by a staggering 37 percent from last year when the postseason took place as scheduled in April, May, and June (4.83M).

The six-game Lakers-Heat NBA Finals averaged 7.48 million viewers, down 49% from last year, and easily the least-watched Finals on record. The previous low was 9.29 million for Spurs-Cavaliers in 2007.

The 37 percent decline is in line with the broader trend facing the sports industry since the wave of cancellations and postponements in March.

The sports outlet OutKick reported earlier this month amid the falling ratings:

“After nearly two decades of reinventing the NBA discussion, LeBron is now a detriment to the league’s brand. The NBA’s new self-inflicted identity is written in ink. Millions of turned-off Americans associate the NBA with radical politics catered to only a minimal number of sports fans.”

The NBA’s decline has generated greater media attention than those of other sports because of the perception that the league is being punished by viewers for its support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The data does not indicate any meaningful shift in the racial make-up of the league’s audience. Through the first four games of the NBA Finals, white viewers made up 45 percent of the audience. That compares to 46 percent last year.

Earlier this month, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league will revisit the social justice messaging seen by players and teams this season. Silver said in an interview:

“I would say, in terms of the messages you see on the court and our jerseys, this was an extraordinary moment in time when we began these discussions with the players and what we all lived through this summer.

My sense is there’ll be somewhat a return to normalcy, that those messages will largely be left to be delivered off the floor. And I understand those people who are saying, ‘I’m on your side, but I want to watch a basketball game.’”

Pro soccer and hockey have also joined in social activism. And even Major League Baseball jettisoned its decades-old reticence to get political by going all-in for the Black Lives Matter agenda.

But every single pro sport has seen crashing ratings this year as the leagues immerse themselves in proclamations of left-wing, anti-American politics.

In the past several months, players from the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB and MLS have also taken a knee during the national anthem to “protest racism and police brutality”. The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs declined an almost identical 38% across NBC’s TV and digital platforms (from 1.53M to 953K) The MLB Division Series sank 40% on TBS, FS1, and MLB Network (from 3.04M to 1.82M).

Those revived demonstrations, after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first knelt during the anthem in 2016 and inspired other athletes to do the same, in turn, garnered condemnations from Trump, who has been criticizing player protests since his presidential candidacy.

Both Favre and Trump agreed that fans are tired of being beat over the head with leftist politics, especially in neutral territory, like sports.

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Author: Pat Droney

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