Philadelphia Eagles

Why Harris attended charity event hours after getting released


He could have sulked. He could have been bitter. He could very easily have cancelled and nobody would have had a problem with that.

That's not who Anthony Harris is.

Harris began the day getting cut.

He ended the day mentoring area youth at a charity event in Cherry Hill, an event he agreed to appear at long before he was released by the Eagles Tuesday.

“For me, I think it’s a blessed day,” Harris said. “I woke up this morning, I’m feeling good, my body’s healthy, my family’s doing well, I’ve got an opportunity to continue to utilize my platform, that’s why I’m here today.

“The opportunity to be here was present and I wanted to come out here and show kids that regardless of how the day goes, how life goes, adversity is going to hit sometimes. Some things that you didn’t quite plan for are going to pop up and it’s not what happened it’s how you respond to it.”

The Eagles released Harris in a move that was awfully surprising considering that he started 14 games at safety last year and practiced with the starting defense all preseason this summer.

But after the Eagles were able to acquire 24-year-old Chauncey Gardner-Johnson from the Saints, Harris became expendable.

Harris, 30, spent his first six seasons with the Vikings before signing with the Eagles last year. After a brief foray into free agency in March, he signed another one-year deal with the Eagles on March 18.

He was officially released at 4 p.m. Tuesday. And by 5 p.m. he was at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Cherry Hill, where a group of young local athletes were each provided $150 gift cards to shop for sporting goods. Harris served as their personal shopper.

The idea behind the program is to encourage youngsters in South Jersey to participate in sports, and that’s a noble cause.

But for Harris it was also an opportunity to teach the kids about the importance of dealing with adversity in a positive and constructive way.

“Today I wanted to come out and make sure that I shared that message of wherever you want to go, it’s never going to be easy,” he said. “There’s going to be adversity, there’s going to be tough days, but just handle it in stride, continue to do the positive things, continue to do the things that you can control and just let life take its natural course.”

This could be the end of the road as an NFL player for Harris, although he could get an opportunity to continue his career for an eighth season.

Whatever the future holds, you better believe he’s going to continue to use his platform to try and effect positive change in the community.

“Now that I’m blessed enough to have this kind of platform, I just try to continue to inspire people and help people and encourage them,” he said.

“As well as be a resource to them to allow people to chase their dreams and be able to see different things and experience different things that may give them an opportunity to see life a little bit differently and really give it their all to achieve their goals.”

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