Steelers safety Ryan Clark got into a bit of a war of words with Ravens running back Ray Rice earlier this week, and while the players' Twitter battle fizzled fairly quickly, Clark decided to fan the Ravens-Steelers flames again on Tuesday.
During a radio interview with 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, Clark took on the Ravens organization and fan base, saying that the Ravens haven't earned rivalry status with the Steelers.
"People try to make this game between the Ravens and the Steelers as so much of a rivalry, a fight," Clark said, 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."
Since Clark joined the Steelers in 2006, the Steelers have gone 7-5 against the Ravens, so the disparity in terms of overall wins and losses between the division opponents isn't all that dramatic. Pittsburgh has won both of the playoff matchups between the teams in that time frame, however.
Clark also addressed his back-and-forth with Rice, which began when the Ravens' running back took to Twitter and criticized Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward for getting arrested for DUI.
"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."
This is the second time in a 24-hour span that news has come out about a Steelers player making controversial statements. Earlier today, comments made by Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison in a Men's Journal magazine article were released, in which Harrison called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell "the devil" and a "crook".
In the same article, Harrison criticized teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall, blaming his quarterback for the Steelers' Super Bowl loss last season, and saying that Mendenhall has a fumbling problem.