To Mr. Rooney, to Mr. Goodell, to media who is participating in this frenzy, and to the fans who have called for Ben's head since that fateful night in Georgia, there is 1 thing that needs to be said...YOU ARE WRONG.
This entire situation is blown out of proportion to the point that it is now pure insanity. To sit here and play judge, jury, and executioner, on an individual who was convicted of nothing and base your decisions on pure hearsay is completely irresponsible. The commissioner of the league has set this disciplinary action purely for the fact of making an example of him. The facts are that this girl was underage, drunk, in a bar, and known to be there in the past, and knowingly changed her story several times from the first night this happened until the investigation was closed. That is pure fact ladies and gentlemen. So to all of you that sit there and condemn Ben based on what you read, you fail to realize it's all allegations and nothing was proven. No witnesses of any kind to back up their stories. Nobody saw this girl being dragged into a bathroom. Nobody heard anything, nobody noticed 3 people blocking the bathroom door. . You have room to make this girl out to be some saint and/or victim when you don't even know her name, you don't know what her lifestyle is, or anything else. In addition, Ben's account was never made public for all of us to see, and since most of us will never see those documents, you have no right to condemn the man to your own judgments based on what somebody else said. I would also call your attention to this article posted by one of the members here on this site; it outlines well the way Ben has been portrayed by the media.
To any of you that actually believe that 2 off duty police officers and Ben's own teammate would knowingly drag a woman into a bathroom, let alone drag her into one and then block the door while she's in there with a man need to have yourselves checked into the next funny farm. None of this adds up to anything more than Ben using poor judgment and this girl shooting her mouth off because her drunk sorority sisters told her too. Then when they all realize the gravity of the situation they all change their story, and then 3 weeks later they all decide to drop the whole thing. If that all makes perfect sense then I feel sorry for you.
None of you have the right to judge Ben Roethlisberger because none of you were there, none of you know what went on. You only know what the media wants you to know. We as Steeler fans have been subjected to the worst offseason in team history. After a sub par year we can't even look forward to the draft without someone bringing up our Quarterback. It's past the point of getting old and by now it's down right ridiculous.
The Steeler Nation as a whole does not think Ben should be lynched, we do think he was treated unfairly in the media, we do think the NFL has blown this way out of proportion, we do think he's being made an example out of and we do think beyond a shadow of a doubt that while he is guilty of poor judgment and bad decision making, his is NOT a serial rapist or other would be sexual predator. When you listen to national talk radio that's all you hear; fans wanting him run out of town, fans wanting him traded, fans complaining their little kids are asking questions about Ben and they can't look up to him any more now. To all of you I say this; raise your kids to be independent thinkers and to base their decisions on the morals you instill them with. Idolizing and athlete, musician, or actor and thinking "it's ok to do it because they do" is a cop out! Don't blame athletes for being role models to your kids and then not living up to your expectations. It's your job to raise them, not somebody else. I have children and it's great follow NFL players and enjoy watching them play, getting their autograph, etc. but they also know the line and are smart enough to realize that just because they like someone doesn't mean they should be like them. These guys are paid to play football games and win; they shouldn't be subjected to the ridicule of parents who don't like how they act.
The Steelers and the NFL have ruled that Ben has to sit out 6 games and stay away from the team. The thing that Ben needs now is the comfort of UPMC and Heinz Field; a place to be with his teammates and get back to football. Alienating him to his own solitude is not the answer. Send him to all the counseling you want, send him for evaluations but keeping him away from his team is flat out wrong and will do no good in the long run. The man has been kicked when he's down, his repuation has long since been shot, and he has never been able to publically tell his side of the story. For that, I say that I will wear my #7 jersey proudly for everyone to see, because he's not only a Steeler player, he's a human being who made some mistakes and has paid over and above what anybody else would have too.
Let me be clear, I think we can all agree that Ben uses poor judgment, that he obviously hasn't been thinking ahead enough to realize the potential ramifications of going to bars, clubs, etc. He should realize by now that due to his high profile status, that you can trust nobody to take care of you but you. Any situation can potentially turn bad if you don't watch yourself. It's quite possible he has a problem with alcohol but I can't say that for sure either way so it's not fair to judge him on that. I have no problem with the NFL setting down some type of punishment for Ben getting into these types of situations. What I do have a problem with is the over excessive means by which they are exploiting whatever is left of the Steelers Quarterback. All that being said, nobody has the right to make this man out to be the monster that he is portrayed as right now. If I was Ben, I don't even think I'd want to come back and play for the Steelers because the way the public has portrayed him he might as well be placed in solitary confinement. Ben has to take responsibility for his actions, that much is clear, however the damage has long since been done if you ask this person behind the keyboard.
The draft is coming, we should be celebrating our next great players entering into the Steeler family but yet here we sit talking about an issue that should have been over before it ever began.
Matt P.- Top Gun
***This article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of all members on SteelerAddicts.com***