Ben Roethlisberger: Why Hasn't the NFL Spoken With Big Ben?

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IMarch 18, 2010

MIAMI - JANUARY 03:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers walks back to the huddle after injuring his shoulder in the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Land Shark Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The Steelers defeated the Dolphins 30-24.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

Anyone that has followed my articles would know that I was one of the first to draw attention to the transparent double-standard by the sports media, which protects the reputation of a white athletes yet fans the flames over any scandalous tabloid involving a black athlete.

I have also made perfectly clear that I do not allege "racism."  I have said it was racial bias.  The simple difference between the two is like saying "I'm not anti-black, I'm pro-white."

In an abstract point, race often does explain a lot - in the media.  Get that perfectly clear - I refer specifically to the intersection of, "race and media."

All one must do is watch American Idol.  After season 2 of that show, I figured out how voters will vote.  And guess what?  I'm almost always right.

Race in the media does explain how people are portrayed.  More often than not, the media is the biggest culprit of racial stereotypes, because on one hand, the media will enable negative stereotypes because it is profitable, but then turn around and bite the hand that feeds them and castigate those who spew racism or racial bias.

Why does the media do so?  Quite simply, for ratings.  They also have a nagging sense of remorse.

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Problem is that many people have convinced themselves that their perceptions derive from rational thinking or facts. Trouble is, in the absence of facts: how could that be true?

Conspiracy of Silence

I have written many articles that question the motives behind the criticsm by fans against some athletes, and the lack thereoft against other athletes.  Inevitably, someone always accuses me of playing "the race card."

How does one define "the race card" exactly?

To me, that is just one those "ejaculatory" answers that people give in order to get goose-bumps by shooting the messenger.

The same people will usually accuse the messenger of being the real racist, like one those movies like Fight Club where the conclusion will question the reality of eveything just seen.

I merely say that the emperor has no clothes. The response against me has been, essentially, to call me a nudist.  The only retort people have against my articles has been: it must take one to know one. 

That the only racially biased or racist people are the people who talk about race, which is just absurdly moronic. Do you think that slave owners ever talked about the issue of race?  No, they just went about the days as if everything was normal..

In many ways, there is a conspiracy of silence amongst white people on the issue of race.  I know.  I'm white ... I've been in those circles. 

Not only is the subject a faux pas, people will feel comfortable in venting all their misgivings about racial politics, or as a place for jokes that you can't tell around certain people. Even some self-described "very liberal" people I know, take a liking to racial jokes.

That in truth is the motivation for my articles.  I don't believe that everyone is a racist, but I do believe that everyone is affected by biased information from the media.  I do believe that the ordinary average person has nothing to fear in questioning the motives behind the decisions they make.

Frankly, I think fans who get scared anytime I mention the word "race" or anything to do with it have nothing to be afraid of.  Once a person is comfortable in their own skin, they will be comfortable in hearing perspectives from others that challenge their own and vice cersa.

Once a person just accepts the fact that "birds of a feather flock together" and that their bias is not motivated by hate - that will set you free.  I think fans who fear the truth about what motivates their decisions are just in a prison of their own making,

The point however is this: You shouldn't hide under the guise of what someone else thinks.  Take ownership of your opinions and what motivates you.

You truly have nothing to fear by doing so.

The bottom ling however is that, I had that epiphany one day that the issue of race does not derive from politics, but from the soul. I realized that when the neo-Nazi's up in my neck of the woods adamantly argue that black people don't have souls.


Case in point has been former NFL star Pacman Jones.

Jones was well known as a troubled malcontent. Thus, when strippers accused Jones of spitting on them, the press ran wild and the fans slurped it up, because Jones had a reputation.

Well, in any court of law, reputation is irrelevant unless the defendant makes it an issue. Yet, in the court of public opinion, Jones was guilty and was suspended for long durations by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell afterwards.

What I don't understand here is why Goodell has not even arranged a meeting with Ben Roethlisberger in the wake of multiple accusations of sexual assault.

Goodell met with Michael Vick after Vick was charged for bankrolling an interstate gambling ring. I say that because Vick was imprisoned for illegal gaming, not so much for animal cruelty.

To be clear, i can compare the Vick and Roethlisberger cases, because both players are under the auspices of the NFL Commissioner and the related disciplinary policies.

Simply put, this article was meant merely to ask: Why hasn't Goodell even spoken to Roethlisberger about the charges against him?

I merely believe that I hope that Roethlisberger will receive the same scrutiny from the NFL Commissioner as Pacman Jones and Michael Vick received.

Goodell spoke with Jones and Vick because Goodell believed that related charges denigrated the image of the NFL.  Goodell did so even before Vick pled guilty, while Jones was not convicted of anything in his tabloid escapades.

Yet, Goodell has not sat down with Roethlisberger to even talk with him.

That is clearly a double-standard.

(Note: Recently, Goodell announced that he will meet with Roethlisberger about the charges against him).


Jones was not charged with a crime when he was suspended.  He was merely accused off spitting on strippers.  I don't condone that behavior, nevertheless, I don't condone what Roethlisberger has been charged with either.

In neither case has the player been convicted.  And that is the point.  Jones was punished based on speculation by the media and fans.  Whereas, Roethlisberger has been given, more or less, a free pass.

Some will also say that Jones' behavior resulted in violence in the Vegas night-club, and yet, Jones has not been held criminally accountable for "making it rain" because there is no proof that the "rain" is what caused the melee. 

Arguably, it was nothing more than a red herring that was picked up by a media that loves scandal.

I have previously written articles that provide facts that the melee could have happened regardless of Jones, and that the scandal around him was merely a convenient cover for the shooter responsible.

Arguably, the fixation on Jones by the media and public muddled the investigation and allowed the shooter to get-away, as everyone focused on the trainwreck of Pacman's life.


In the meeting with Goodell, Michael Vick denied the charges against him. Goodell would remember that when he would review Vick's application for reinstatement into the NFL.

Had the charges merely been animal cruelty, Vick, more than likely, would not have gone to prison. He probably would have received a large fine, community service, and parole.

Vick, in fact, spent more time in jail for illegal gaming than Donte Stallworth spent for murder (30 days as opposed to nearly two years). That goes to show you the insanity of the criminal justice system.

I should also add that if you the reader engage in online poker tournaments, in which you deposit money into an international account in order to "legally" gamble online, then you in fact are committing a similar crime to the one committed by Vick.

The dog killing was practically a footnote.

Before you get confused, I deplore animal cruelty. What Vick did was sick. Nevertheless, he paid far more time than a perpetrator normally would and jeopardized his career for his crime.

And if you illegally gamble online, you're basically in the same boat as him.


You must understand that I differentiate between the ideas of racism and racial bias.  Racism, to me, means direct and blatant hatred and disregard for another race.  I don't believe that the true narrative of the Roethlisberger case has been racism.

Racial bias is simply favoring one race over another and passively disregarding another race.  It has been clear to me that racial bias has been present in the Roethlisberger case.

Defenders of Ben will say "innocent until proven guilty" and such, and yet, that was not afforded to Jones, because he had a reputation, which is something that is irrelevant in a court of law.

Defenders of Ben will argue that the cases are inherently different.  Yet, the severity of a crime is often (not always) relative.  Some people would say that sex crimes are more egregious than murder or assault, and vice versa.  Thus, it is dangerous waters to claim that the charges against Vick were more severe or horrific than the charges against Roethlisberger.

One example that has jumped out was a caller to Headline News. The caller would claim that Roethlisberger is "squeaky clean" and wouldn't need to "force himself" sexually.

You see, that is perception. Not a fact. Sexual assault is not a matter of sexual need, but power.

Therein lies the rub: People believe Roethlisberger is innocent because he has no reputation. He has no reputation, because the media covers it up. 

Just ask Gregg Doyel of Sportsline.com, whom once wrote an article on why journalists are still needed in sports.

They're needed to filter bad reputations.

Many athletes were making buffoons of themselves with messages on Twitter, and Doyel lamented that athletes still needed journalists to keep their bad behavior under wraps.

Yet, the same sports media will wantonly muckrake and destroy the careers of seemingly random athletes. Almost all of whom happen to be black.

And looking at golfer John Daly is all someone needs to do to prove this.

Daly has been consumed by his demons, yet fans cheer him on, because they want to see Daly win in spite of his vices. Did fans afford the same slack for Vick and Jones?


I would hope that Commissioner Goodell would at least meet with Roethlisberger in the wake of the charges still pending against him. And I would hope that fans wake up and smell the truth.

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