HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison is known for being a relentless competitor. He's obviously instilling that drive in his sons.
In an Instagram post that has generated much discussion, Harrison posted a photo of a pair of participation trophies given to his sons.
In the accompanying text, he said he was giving them back, until they "earn a real trophy."
"It's unfortunate that he thinks participation in sports does not have value, because there is a lot of value in participation," said Jeaney Garcia of the Positive Coaching Alliance.
Garcia points to numerous studies showing positive impacts on youths in sports.
"You do better in school, you're more likely to go to college. You're more likely not to do drugs. So there's a lot of research based on participation," she said.
So why is it so polarizing? The post has generated upwards of 16,000 likes. Garcia says it's an attack on the entitlement mentality, and that resonates with many.
"I like the idea that he's setting a standard for excellence, because Positive Coaching Alliance is all about excellence, and it is about winning."
Ultimately, for organizations like the Positive Coaching Alliance, it's the ability to strike a successful balance between competition and participation that's most important for kids in athletics.
"We want kids to be better, we want them to make their teammates better and we want them to understand the game is bigger than just themselves."
James Harrison's full Instagram post reads: