James Harrison will once again be investigated by the NFL.
According to ESPN’s David Purdum, the league will investigate the players that participated in this past weekend’s Pro Football Arm Wrestling Championship in Las Vegas. Harrison’s teammate, fellow outside linebacker Arthur Moats, also participated, as both players are in jeopardy of facing a league fine.
“Had we been asked in advance if this was acceptable, we would have indicated that it was in direct violation of the gambling policy,” Joe Lockhart, NFL vice president of communications, told USA Today Sports, which first reported the league’s concern over the event. “No one sought pre-approval.”
The event is scheduled to be broadcast on CBS on May 27-28, with the championship round being broadcasted on June 3. According to the event’s website, a portion of the prize purses for both individual and team competitions will be donated to charities of the player’s choice.
This isn’t the NFL’s first run-in with players participating in a non-league sanctioned competition in Las Vegas. In 2015, a fantasy football convention featuring NFL players was scheduled to be held in Las Vegas, but the NFL warned players that they could be in violation of the league’s gambling policy and face potential fines. Organizers sued the NFL after the event was eventually canceled — according to ESPN — but the case was later dismissed.
Harrison and the NFL have been in constant conflict with one another for nearly a decade, as the Steelers’ future Hall of Fame linebacker has been fined in excess of over $150,000 during that span. Last season, the league threatened to suspend Harrison if he did not meet with them to discuss Al-Jazeera’s report accusing Pittsburgh’s linebacker of PED use, a report that was eventually deemed inaccurate by its writer. Harrison, who did eventually meet with league last offseason, avoided a suspension but was constantly drug tested throughout the 2016 season.