What Happened to Innocence? Steelers Must Stand With Ben Roethlisberger

Ken FossAnalyst IApril 13, 2010

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 20:  Head coach Mike Tomlin talks with Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers while waiting for the game winning touchdown call to be confirmed by instant replay during the game on December 20, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

On April 12, 2010, Georgia District Attorney, Fred Bright held a press conference to announce that Pittsburgh Quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger would not be charged. He went on to state that while the victim had injuries in the vaginal area, no semen was recovered and the amount of male DNA found was inadequate to form a profile or establish that an assault had even taken place.

Today, people have been scrambling to label the Steelers organization "racist" and Roethlisberger guilty anyway. Some even are going so far as call for a long suspension from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell or, the 68-28 quarterback, be shipped out of town.

First things first, what Ben Roethlisberger was accused of taking part in is heinous and indefensible. Sexual Assault is about as repugnant as you can get this side of actual rape, or homicide.

However, we have no way of knowing what happened in that Capitol City restroom, and that's just the truth. We have an intoxicated defendant, inconclusive evidence, and a dropped case.

While people will bring up that this is Roethlisberger's second sexually related scandal, and his well publicized, womanizing ways. They fail to bring up that first case was clearly a sham from a defendant looking to cash-in on not just his, but seven others celebrity.

I think any reasonable person who followed the case Andrea McNulty filed, and read the affidavit published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette would have come to the same conclusion.

This case has far more merit than that one did, of this there is no question. It's certainly disturbing, but the facts are all we can go on, and there's just not enough of them to convict Roethlisberger, in any court, including the one of public opinion. 

The Steelers need to stand beside their franchise QB. So far he's guilty of nothing more than childishness, and stupidity. Things I feel are still ultimately correctable.

However, when they through in the towel on wide-out Santonio Holmes this weekend, they had far better reason. He's a known marijuana user, who recently had a closed case of assault reopened because the victim claimed she was pressured by both Holmes and the police to drop the charges.

This coupled with seemingly endless twitter controversy, and a looming 4-game suspension, was more than enough to warrant a change in scenery, for both him and them.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a storied franchise, one that's been at the forefront of social change in sports.

The Rooney Rule, which enforces the interviewing of minority coaches, named after Dan Rooney, member of the Rooney family whom have lorded over the team for 50-plus years.

It's utterly laughable to think that a team, coached by an African-American, with a roster 75+% African-American would have anything to do with race. If you do, you either don't understand the word, or lack the cognitive ability to use it properly.

It's just as simple as that.

We have, in my opinion, more than enough evidence to know indisputably, that Santonio Holmes is a morally cancerous human being at this point in time. People can change, and I wish him all the best in his move to New York. However his record, and Roethlisberger's record are separate entities altogether.

For now, he should still have the benefit of the doubt. I'd have hoped the Duke Lacrosse Case had taught us all that much.