Rodney Harrison rips lack of Hall of Fame recognition for Patriots: 'It's almost form of discrimination'

Alex Reimer
July 25, 2019 - 12:14 pm

Count Rodney Harrison among those who is tired of hearing the trite debate about whether Tom Brady or Bill Belichick is more responsible for the Patriots’ success. The ex-Pro Bowl safety says the analysis is simplistic and disrespectful.

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In a recent interview with the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian, Harrison, who nows works as an NFL analyst for NBC Sports, railed against the lack of recognition he and his teammates receive for their roles in the ongoing Patriots’ dynasty. “People don’t think we have ballers,” Harrison said. “I’m like, Ty Law was the greatest defensive back I’ve ever played with. He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. Richard Seymour, Willie McGinest, Troy Brown, Kevin Faulk, these dudes were, bad, bad dudes.”

Ty Law, who will be inducted into the Football Hall of Fame later this summer, is the first member of the early aught Patriots to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio. New England won three Super Bowls from 2001-04. 

Harrison, who believes he should be in the Hall of Fame, says voters hold an unfair prejudice against his teammates. “It’s unfair when people say, ‘As long as you had Tom and Bill [Belichick],’ well, dude, Tom and Bill can’t get it done by themselves,” Harrison explained. “It takes a lot of really smart, great players. It’s just unfortunate. It’s almost a form of discrimination. People don’t want to elevate us, or recognize, or acknowledge how great we are, because they’re such haters. Everywhere I go, people hate on the Patriots. So we don’t get credit.”

Harrison has a point. Though Brady excelled in the clutch, he was a glorified game manager through much of New England’s early success. The Patriots relayed on a swath of veterans, including multiple stars on the defensive end, to help lead them to their first three championships.

New England’s dynasty may not be as well-represented in Canton as the Steelers of the 1970s, who have nine players in the Hall of Fame. But some of Brady and Belichick’s co-stars should certainly be honored. Perhaps Law’s induction will start a trend.