Why Is Race Becoming an Issue with the Ben Roethlisberger Ordeal?

Nick SignorelliSenior Writer IMarch 17, 2010

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 20:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers on December 20, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

As we all sit here and wonder what really happened between Ben Roethlisberger and a 20-year-old co-ed in Georgia, there is a troubling trend that seems to be happening here on Bleacher Report.

There have been about a million different articles in the last two weeks discussing what will happen with Roethlisberger and the Steelers. There is the, "He needs to be released" camp. Then there is the, "Wait and see" group.

But the one that is starting to bother me is the, "He is getting special treatment because he is white" group.

Here are some of the comments BR writers have submitted on a couple different articles I have written:

"What a bunch a Bull, Vick is castrated and jail over some dogs no less, yet Ben is accused twice of Violating women and bloggers and the the media cleans it up, and minimizes the atrocity against. women what a bunch of HYPOCRITES I guess the world is going to the dogs." - Nelson King Sr.

"This will all get swept under the rug, because in America's eyes he is innocent until proven Guilty! On the other hand, Mike Vick, Kobe, Tiger Woods, Tyson, and Mike Jackson were all Guilty before they were even charged! and the Media tore there charter apart ! Come on people, we see a pattern here?????? Treat Everyone Equal America! It is 2010 and Your still Racist............" - Christopher Jackson.

"I only wonder if other player would be or have been given the same consideration. We lampooned Tiger Woods before he came out and made any statements. I have a good friend from school who is from Pitt. He goes to some of the same watering holes as Ben, and told me point blank to my my face that Ben is an obnoxious drinker. When he's wasted he says anything that comes to his head to women. A lot of the times they are so offended that they don't even care that he's a star.

"We don't know exactly what happened, we should wait for the facts to come out. But it doesn't work this way for everyone. Pacman Jones got crushed in the media before any charges were filed or convictions, or guilty pleas were submitted. We need to be fair to everyone. In fairness, this is the second incident in a relatively short period of time where similar allegations are being made.

"I can believe that there are gold diggers, and girls that just want money, but this is starting to look like a pattern of behavior. I'm all for giving someone the benefit of the doubt until proven to be guilty, I would just hope that everyone would get a fair shake. Not just our favorite athletes." - Tim Ruffin.

Basically, several celebrity accusations have been mentioned above: those involving Mike Vick, Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Pac Man Joes, Mike Tyson, and Michael Jackson.

But taken on a case-by-case basis, and comparing any of them to what Ben Roethlisberger is being accused of, the only one that makes any sense is that Kobe Bryant. The case of Kobe, which similarly included a sexual assault charge, was covered by the major networks pretty much the same way Roethlisberger's case is being covered.

What bothers me the most is, it's almost as if these guys, and others as well, are saying that Roethlisberger is not entitled to due process.

Of the men that are compared to Roethlisberger, Mike Vick, Pac Man Jones, and Mike Tyson, were all given due process. With the exception of Tyson, both Vick and Jones admitted to the crimes they committed and were sentenced based on what they admitted to.

Tyson was found guilty and was sentenced to prison.

Are some people saying that Roethlisberger does not deserve due process because he is white? Are they saying that they want him to be guilty because black athletes have been found guilty?

For those of you, such as the men quoted above, that believe that Roethlisberger should be charged at this point, do you not think he would be if the evidence were there to support it?

If you want to take that side, please explain to me, why?


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