Pittsburgh Steelers hard-hitting safety Ryan Clark took a shot at the Baltimore Ravens, openly questioning whether this annual series is truly a rivalry.
The Ravens have lost six of eight games to the Steelers, the reigning AFC North champions.
"People try to make this game between the Ravens and the Steelers as so much of a rivalry, a fight," Clark told 93.7 The Fan, per Sports Radio Interviews. "You can say it’s a rivalry if you like, but I really truly feel that for a game to be a rivalry, it doesn’t have to just be physical. I think for something to be a rivalry, both teams have to win equally. I think just the hate between the fans doesn’t make a situation a rivalry. I think in college it does, but in the league teams have to win equally, and that really hasn’t been the case in our situation."
Clark also chimed in on the recent barbs he traded with Ravens running back Ray Rice over Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward’s recent driving under the influence arrest in Georgia.
"Well I think first of all, it’s not really a situation to where it bothered me in the sense that what he said was really bad," Clark said. "I think more than anything it was disrespectful. As players we should all be a fraternity of brothers, and what I mean by that is if you have nothing good to say about something, why comment on it? I mean, and that was my only thing. And even in that, all I said was I’m glad you weighed in with what you think.
"Then he kind of took a life of his own. He was saying some other stuff and where to find me, some things that are really just whatever to me. So I just tried to kind of take the high road with it. But the biggest thing to me is people make mistakes, and to be judged by your peers, and to judge someone or one of your peers is not really your job. It’s not why we’re here, that’s for other people to do, so I just felt it was kind of tasteless for him to do so."
Clark said he feels no need to counsel Ward about his legal issue.
"Nothing," he said. "Nothing at all. He’s an adult, he’s what I believe is a very good man and I don’t know the details of the night, there’s so many different things coming out. So if he were to come to me and bring up the subject, I wouldn’t broach it at all. I think the one thing I know I don’t like that sometimes people do is when you know you’ve made a mistake, nobody feels worse about it than you do.
"You know you’ve put yourself in a position whether you’re right or wrong, nobody understands it better than you do. So he doesn’t need me to come up to him and talk about the situation. I did what I had to do in a situation where I felt like here was somebody who was disrespecting and was kind of poking his nose into his business when it was unnecessary. But as far as that, it’s over, it’s behind us."
Clark said there are other issues to be dealt with the in the labor talks than the rookie wage scale.
"If that was the only issue, we’d have a deal done today," Clark said. "I can say that. There’s still a lot of things. When I say a lot of things, I don’t want it to be like ‘Ryan Clark said it’s not even close.’ We’re definitely closer today than we ever have been. We’re definitely working hard – owners and players a like – to get a deal done together. And we are close if you are looking it at relatively to where we’ve came from. But that’s clearly not the only issue. There’s still things to be ironed out on both sides, and I think we’ll continue to be working towards that.
"I think, you know, the Adam Schefter’s and the Chris Mortensen’s, they have to report something, they have to try to figure out what’s going on, and they have different sources to lean on and go with. But that’s not the only issue we have at hand, it’s not the only thing we’re trying to work out. But we are working and I think that a deal will get done. Is there a date? I’m not necessarily sure. It could be tomorrow. It could be two weeks from now. But I am confident we will have football."