Big Opinions On Big Ben

Not exactly sure why, but it seems everybody and their brother has an
opinion on the recently wrapped up investigation into the allegations
against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger that he sexually
assaulted a 20-year-old girl.

With the Georgia DA officially ending the investigation without any
charges ben.roethlisberger.jpgbeing filed earlier this week, the talk everywhere quickly
shifted to discuss whether or not Roethlisberger should be suspended
either by the team or commissioner Roger Goodell. Now let me officially
state that I’ve been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan since I was five, and I
like many other Steelers fans realize that the team has no chance at
success without Roethlisberger on the field this season. I’m well aware
that heading into a season with a two-time Super Bowl champion behind
center is a much better scenario than sending out unproven Dennis Dixon
or god forbid, Charlie Batch, that’s for sure.

But with that said and trying to put all my fan bias aside, I don’t
understand how somebody can even be considered for suspension after
being cleared of any wrong doing. Many have said that Roethlisberger is
at the very least guilty of poor judgment and I couldn’t agree with that
more. Being a high-profile athlete and going to a college bar and
getting your drink on with girls not old enough to legally be in said
bar is just asking for trouble. But I also believe that if somebody is
accused of something like sexual assault and those investigating the
incident can’t compile enough evidence to substantiate those accusations
enough to make formal charges, you shouldn’t be disciplined by the
league or your team. I realize the NFL has implemented a “Code of
Conduct” rule that gives Goodell and the league the right to discipline
its players whether or not any formal legal charges have been made but
that doesn’t mean a suspension should be a given in this particular

Let me preface the following by saying I do believe Roethlisberger
intentionally got this girl good and liquored up with hopes of later
having sexual relations with her. And from everything we know about the
case that mission was accomplished. I don’t however believe he sexually
assaulted her. While I don’t make a habit of implementing this practice
any more, I’m not sure I know a guy who hasn’t encouraged a girl he’s
prowling after to “do a shot” or “get a refill” with hopes it will
increase the chance of a hook-up later. If you don’t recall these types
of games being played you’re either a frequent visitor of the “Early
Bird” dinner special or you’re just plain kidding yourself.

But while I do believe Big Ben was very close to being in Big Trouble,
we have to remember, he was cleared of any wrong doing and no charges
were filed. Other than being guilty in the jury of public opinion, he
was not charged with any crime whatsoever so how can the league or the
Steelers consider any type of suspension? I realize the league and the
team is starting to see a pattern of poor decisions coming from
Roethlisberger (his motorcycle accident and civil lawsuit for alleged
rape case) and they’re feeling the heat to come down and make an example
out of him, but I’m just not sure I’m buying that argument.

But if Roethlisberger’s first incident (alleged rape in which no criminal charges were filed) was nothing more than a disgruntled woman making frivolous allegations (as most viewed it initially) and the most-recent allegations were nothing more than a young lady hooking up with an NFL star in a bar bathroom, is there really a pattern developing here? Athletes are no saints and Roethlisberger is certainly no exception, but we really need to look at all of the facts of his incidents before we start clamoring for the league to throw the book at him. If the league suspended every guy who did what Roethlisberger did, the NFL would turn into a 5-on-5 league because no team could fill a full squad.

I get it that if Roethlisberger wants to stop any future allegations
coming his way he can simply stop putting himself in these type of
situations. But we all need to remember that just because somebody is
accused of something doesn’t necessarily make it fact. And if the legal
system can’t even put together enough evidence to file formal charges
and the case gets thrown out, why is any disciplinary action needed?  

2 thoughts on “Big Opinions On Big Ben

  1. steve emerick on said:

    Being a diehard steelers fan also , I cant help but hope that Goodell lays the smack down on ben. Apparently he wont understand any other way that his conduct is detrimental to himself, the steelers and the NFL! Instead of a suspension maybe take a nice sized stick and whack him one across a helmetless noggin! If Tomlin or Rooney won’t hit you with it then Maybe Goodell will! I can guarantee you this, a third time will not be a charm for you! SO PAY ATTENTION NOW AND LEARN YOUR LESSON!

    Ben , let me say this, GROW UP! Stop letting your little head think for your big head!

    Your actions will never cause me to switch alliance from the Steelers but they will cause me to hope you DO NOT return even if it means Dennis Dixon is our Starting QB!

  2. Jeff R. Arends on said:

    Have to disagree with your point about getting the girl liquored up and subsequent actions. 1st- the young lady was under age. 2nd Sexual assault does not always have to be by force- it also can be by coersion, threat, or diminished capacity (drugs/alcohol, etc.) 3rd- He had his off duty police officer friend running interference. These factors make me think that Ben had some predisposed intent on doing something with the accuser.
    Just because he is "not guilty" doesn’t mean that he is innocent.
    Like many athletes, Ben has a God-complex and hopefully a suspension will help him come back to Earth.
    Even though he wasn’t charged, his conduct has cast a negative light onto the league and the Steelers. I think that the Commish and the Rooneys will work together and he will be suspended.