In NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's eyes, Ben Roethlisberger is guilty.
In the eyes of law enforcement officials in Georgia, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is innocent of all acquisitions.
However on Wednesday the NFL slapped "Big Ben" with a six game suspension. Is the suspension warranted if a crime did not take place?
In my opinion, Roethlisberger is guilty of only stupidity. Not only was this yet another incident that the Steelers' franchise player has jeopardized his future, but it seems that he is continuing a downward spiraling pattern.
Roger Goodell stated that Roethlisberger violated the league's player conduct policy and to be honest, this is not the first time.
On the field, "Big Ben" is the leader of perennial Super Bowl contenders, but off the field, the actions that have hit the media circuit certainly do not exude qualities that Steelers brass would approve of.
Of course, all of this is occurring at a time when the Steelers just traded away top receiver Santonio Holmes for continued off the field issues with the law.
Also, do not forget that the Steelers franchise recently adored Holmes for his Super Bowl heroics and MVP performance in 2009. Oh, how the times change.
So will this suspension then turn into another Steeler being shipped out?
If the Steelers have a question lingering in the back of their minds about the future risks and baggage now tied to their face of the franchise, then its time to start a new chapter.
In this situation the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger and the League will all take the necessary steps to mend heal the open wound. It will be up to Roethlisberger and the Steelers to have a little talk about the well being of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Steelers have a very high standard for their players and as witnessed by his recent conduct policy, the NFL holds their employees to an even higher regard. Ben Roethlisberger now knows this first hand.
Whether Roethlisberger is traded to another team or remains the leader of the Steelers, he should take a page out of the books of some of the leaders in the league that are displaying those values and admirations both on and off the field.
Neither quarterback is ever in the news other than breaking a passing record, winning games or helping out the community. The shock would be if you heard either of their names attached to accusations such as Roethlisberger's.
Then again, were you surprised when the Roethlisberger sexual assault news broke, especially after Ben was involved in a similar situation just a couple years earlier in Lake Tahoe, Nevada?
The bottom line in this story is that no matter what, Ben Roethlisberger was in the wrong, anyway you cut it.
No one want to have negative publicity tied to them, but when a situation presents itself, cooler heads prevail and wise decisions should be made, even if they are about a 28 year-old franchise quarterback.
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