This NFL Player Sent A Strong Message By Refusing His Sons' Participation Trophies

"Sometimes your best is not enough."

James Harrison is by all accounts a successful athlete. Over 12 years as a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, he's amassed 71.5 sacks, won two Super Bowls and made quarterbacks shake in their cleats on countless plays. So he's understandably not apologetic when it comes to earning your keep and getting recognized for it. Not for himself or anyone close to him — children included.

Check out his recent Instagram about the participation trophies his two sons "won":

In the caption, Harrison wrote that while he's "very proud" of his sons and "will encourage them till the day I die," he doesn't believe in awarding them just for showing up. "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," he said.

With that in mind, he also noted he plans to give back the trophies "until they EARN a real trophy." Although it might sound harsh at first, the message behind it is one not often pushed toward kids anymore for fear of hurting their feelings. Harrison merely wants his sons to know that "sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better." It's all in the pursuit of teaching that real success is only achieved through hard work and inevitably a good measure of failure along the way.

#harrisonfamilyvalues

(H/T: LA Times)

Cover image: Wikimedia