Big Ben is a tool & my Steelers are hypocrites
UPDATE: Roethlisberger suspended six games by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
ED NOTE: Look on the bright side, Ben, it sure beats prison.
I have been trying to wrap my head around how reckless, idiotic, callous and borderline criminal the behavior of Ben Roethlisberger, the quarterback of my Pittsburgh Steelers, was that night in Georgia.
Once I did, here is what I realized about a guy that has provided me with a lot of good times (on the field) since the day he was drafted, and a team I have admired since their games were piped into my North Trenton home just about every Sunday since I was 8-years-old.
Roethlisberger is an ass crack and the Steelers are hypocrites.
Here’s the rub: I do not watch Roethlisberger and the Steelers from September to February because I am looking for them to be my moral compass.
Roethlisberger and the Steelers are here strictly for my entertainment and amusement, only I find nothing funny about Roethlisberger’s actions with that 20-year-old woman in the bathroom of that Georgia bar with a police officer standing guard at the door, or the way the Steelers seemed to be selectively choosing their level of anger and reprehension even before that gutless D.A. refused to file charges.
If the victim’s second witness statement is to be believed, and I have not seen one reliable report that doubts her credibility, Roethlisberger should have been arrested and charges filed.
For those of you who missed it yesterday, here is the second of those statements by Roethlisberger’s accuser. (The first was made while still intoxicated the night of the incident and differs slightly, but the gist is fairly consistent).
The text was provided by The Smoking Gun and directed to me via profootballtalk.com.
“Ben asked us to go to his ‘VIP’ area. . . . We all went with him. He said there were shots for us, numerous shots were on the bar, and he told us to take them. His bodyguard came and took my arm and said come with me, he escorted me into a side door/hallway, and sat me on a stool. He left and Ben came back with his penis out of his pants. I told him it wasn’t OK, no, we don’t need to do this and I proceeded to get up and try to leave. I went to the first door I saw, which happened to be a bathroom. He followed me into the bathroom and shut the door behind him. I still said no, this is not OK, and he then had sex with me. He said it was OK. He then left without saying anything. I went out of the hallway/door to the side where I saw my friends. We left [the club] and went to the first police car we saw.”
New details of the incident have emerged and were reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Thursday, including a statement made to police by a friend of Roethlisberger’s accuser, Nicole Biancofiore, who told the Post-Gazette her friend “was dragged by a bodyguard to the back room. She was extremely intoxicated and not aware of what was happening.”
What a guy.
Sort of makes that hotel employee’s sexual assault claims against Roethlisberger last year in Lake Tahoe a tad more credible, no?
D.A. Fred Bright said at his press conference Monday no charges were coming because “We do not prosecute morals. We prosecute crimes.’’
Feel free to post a comment with all that “innocent until proven guilty’’ nonsense, but prepared to be flamed.
Just because the D.A. says a crime wasn’t committed, doesn’t mean a crime wasn’t committed, and it certainly doesn’t mean Roethlisberger is all of a sudden a good guy and off the hook.
He will be suspended, either by the Steelers or NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and Roethlisberger can probably expect a second civil suit in as many years delivered by messenger to his front door.
As for the Steelers, they traded Santonio Holmes to the Jets for a fifth-round pick this week after he allegedly attacked a woman with a glass at a Florida nightclub, then pressured her not to press charges.
Holmes also flunked his drug test and was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of 2010.
Hours later, he was a Jet.
The Rooney Family, which owns the Steelers, seem to be revered at a level just shy of sainthood and insists they do not tolerate behavior detrimental to the organization.
They had no problem discarding the problem-child Holmes.
But unless there is a plan in place to trade Roethlisberger the house rules — at least for now — are different for the franchise quarterback, just as they were two years ago when backup wide receiver Cedric Wilson was arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend.
Wilson was cut just hours later.
Yet, when NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison was arrested on nearly identical charges early that same month, the Rooneys kept him and the Steelers, led by Harrison, went on to win their second Super Bowl since 2005.
Any respect I ever had for Roethlisberger was strickly due to his ability on the field and that will not change because of this.
Even if what I heard this morning from some very reliable sources in Pittsburgh is true -– that Roethlisberger held an alcohol-fueled party at his home Sunday night upon being tipped off that he would not be charged –- it likely will not keep me from watching on Sundays.
Let’s be honest.
For all the good work many of these teams, including the Rooneys, do in the community and for charity, the job of these owners is to make money and Roethlisberger is the Rooney’s cash cow.
They are not in the football business to run a charm school.
This entire incident is sickening on every level imaginable.
But when in search of moral guidance — and I sometimes am — Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ front office are among the last places I’ll look.