Why Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger CANNOT Be Suspended By The NFL

Nick SignorelliSenior Writer IApril 9, 2010

In a lot of the articles I have read and written about the Ben Roethlisberger situation, many of the comments focused on the fact that Roethlisberger should or will be suspended.

If this case does go to trial, and Roethlisberger is found guilty, that is one thing. If it does not, then there is little to no chance that Roethlisberger will miss any playing time.

Those that want Big Ben suspended take the angle that because other NFL players have been suspended for off the field behavior, that Ben should also be.

Some even go as far as to say that Ben is not being treated as harshly as other African American players have been. They point to Pacman Jones, Mike Vick, Donte Stallworth and Plaxico Burress as examples of players the NFL has made an example of.

Here are the big differences between Big Ben and those other players.

Adam "Pacman" Jones

July 14, 2005: Arrested on charges of assault and felony vandalism.

Sept. 5, 2005: Jones is "talked to" by police after he refuses to pay for a valet, because he does not have the money.

October 2005: West Virginia extends Jones probation an additional 90 days for not checking in with his parole officer as often as it has been ordered by the courts.

Aug. 25, 2006: Arrested on disorderly conduct and public intoxication, for spitting on a woman. The Judge sentenced him to six months of probation with the agreement that Jones stays out of trouble.

Oct. 26, 2006: Cited for misdemeanor assault for spitting in the face of a female student.  Jones was suspended for one game by the Tennessee Titans.

April 3, 2007: Jones meets with Roger Goodell.

May 10, 2007: Jones is suspended for the 2007 season. It is the first time in 44 years that a player is suspended for an entire year.

May 7, 2007: Jones was stopped for driving 79mph in a 55mph zone. While stopped, the SUV that Jones was driving was identified as a vehicle used in a cocaine bust. The car was impounded.

June 18, 2007: Jones was questioned about his connection in a strip club shooting.

Mike Vick

October 2007: Hours after Vick pled guilty to federal charges in the Bad Newz Kennels dog fighting investigation, the NFL suspended him indefinitely, without pay.

In a letter to Vick, Roger Goodell stated that while Vick was a first-time offender under the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy, he handed down the harsher suspension because Vick admitted that he provided most of the money for the GAMBLING side of the operation.

Donte Stallworth

March 14, 2009: Stallworth, while driving home from a night club at 7:15 a.m., strikes and kills Mario Reyes. Stallworth had a blood alcohol content of .12 (.08 is the legal limit). Marijuana was also found in his system.

April 1, 2009: Stallworth is charged with DUI and second degree manslaughter. Stallworth pled guilty and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 1,000 hours of community service, two years of house arrest and eight years probation.

Aug. 13, 2009: Roger Goodell suspends Stallworth for the 2009 season.

Plaxico Burress

Nov. 28, 2008: Burress suffers an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg while at a New York night club.

Dec. 2, 2008: Burress is suspended by the Giants for the remaining four games of the season.

Aug. 3, 2009: Burress is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and a single count of reckless endangerment in the second degree. Both charges are felonies.

Although Burress has currently been in prison for over a year, the only suspension he has served is the four game suspension by the New York Giants.  The NFL has still not suspended him.

Ben Roethlisberger

June 12, 2006: Roethlisberger is in an automobile accident. Roethlisberger was not wearing a helmet at the time. Roethlisberger was not at fault in the accident, and there were no drugs or alcohol involved.

Roethlisberger is cited for not wearing a helmet and failure to operate in his license class. These charges are no different than a speeding ticket.

July 19, 2009: A civil lawsuit is filed against Roethlisberger by Andrea McNulty in Nevada. McNulty claims that Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her.

No criminal charges have been brought, nor will be brought, because the Nevada District Attorney refuses to press charges in a case where there is no physical evidence.

March 5, 2010: Roethlisberger is accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old woman in a restroom at a club in Milledgeville, Ga.  No charges have yet to be filed.

Here is how long the NFL has waited until punishment of the previously mentioned players.

Adam Jones: Seven incidents, including two incidents of disorderly conduct and a felony before suspension.

Mike Vick: Two felonies. Suspended after pleading guilty.

Donte Stallworth: Two felonies, including manslaughter. Suspended after pleading guilty and serving his prison time.

Plaxico Burress: Two felonies. Suspended four games by the New York Giants, still has not been suspended by the NFL.

Ben Roethlisberger:No criminal charges in any cases have been brought against him.

And people think he should be suspended already? Kind of makes you wonder.


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