BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (CBSNewYork) — Charles Harley admits he wasn’t the best teammate. He says he held players accountable for their performance, which rubbed some of them the wrong way.
In an interview on WFAN’s “The Afternoon Drive” on Wednesday that briefly turned confrontational, the five-time Super Bowl champ candidly discussed his volatile temper and his struggle with bipolar disorder.
When WFAN’s Chris Carlin asked Haley about some of his “jackass” actions as a player, the former 49ers and Cowboys sack artist responded: “You’re trying to make it seem like everybody hated me. Go for it! I don’t care.”
He insisted he was simply trying to be a team leader when he called out players for their subpar performances.
“You got a job to do. Do your damn job,” he said. “And I made them accountable for doing their jobs. Now did I step over the line sometimes? Yes, I did. But you know what, it’s called accountability. They held my ass accountable. I’m going to hold them accountable.”
But Haley doesn’t deny that he had a flawed personality, even telling a tale of how he once tore up a team training room because someone threw away his dominoes.
Haley refused to blame his bipolar disorder for his actions and said he’s in a better place now.
“I’m not going to put everything on being bipolar because my momma taught me right from wrong,” he said. “Sometimes, man, it’ll be one second and I’m going, ‘Damn, did I do that?’ It was like an out-of-body experience, man. And I went to dinner with my family, and I still would not take my medicine and stuff, and they’d get to cracking jokes about me, and the next thing I know I hit the table so hard that the people around me got up and left, and my kids were scared. And I just said from that moment on, ‘You know what, I’m going to get some help.’
“And when I got the help, I admitted to myself that I had a mental illness. And that was the key — I had to admit I had a mental illness. Because once I admitted to it, I got some help, and I took my medicine.”
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could surpass Haley on Sunday for the most Super Bowl rings ever won by a single player. But Haley said he’s not cheering against Brady.
“I don’t root against anybody,” he said. “I want to see a good game. They say records are made to be broken, and they will be broken either by him or somebody else.”
To listen to the interview, click on the audio player above.