As we all know by now, one of the game's biggest stars had now been suspended for six games of the upcoming season. Ben Roethlisberger is now a victim of the “Roger Goodell Conduct Policy.”
I will admit, the publicity Big Ben brought could not be classified as positive, but I think the punishment does not fit the crime, or well lack of crime considering it was not even tried in court.
While many view this as the commissioner just doing his job, I see it as Goodell’s internal and private hatred for Roethlisberger and I will use Goodell’s controversial letter to him after announcing his punishment to prove it.
First Quote: "The Personal Conduct Policy makes clear that I may impose discipline 'even where the conduct does not result in conviction of a crime' as, for example, where the conduct 'imposes inherent danger to the safety and well being of another person."
- Chances are if the action in question is not criminal, then it is probably not that bad in the grand scheme of things. As far the well being of another person, the young lady was intoxicated at a bar, where the majority of the people do the same. She also voluntarily went into a secluded area with Roethlisberger, which is only putting herself in a bad situation. If Ben beat this girl and forcefully raped her and left her there to die, then this would be a different situation. But just having sex does not put someone in inherent danger. Goodell clearly uses his “Personal Conduct Policy” to justify any action he does, such as picking his nose.
Second Quote: "I recognize that the allegations in Georgia were disputed and that they did not result in criminal charges being filed against you. My decision today is not based on a finding that you violated Georgia law, or on a conclusion that differs from that of the local prosecutor. That said, you are held to a higher standard as an NFL player, and there is nothing about your conduct in Milledgeville that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible, or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans."
- Roger Goodell’s plan, become the biggest name in sports. Like I said earlier, Ben is considered innocent under law so who is Roger Goodell to try and overrule that? Basically the commissioner just told the Georgia justice system that your decision was a piece of trash and since you didn’t do something, then I will clean up your mess.
Goodell also states that NFL players are held to a higher standard. If this is to hold true then why is a convicted murderer playing in this year but Roethlisberger misses nearly half the season? Dante Stallworth was drunk and took a man’s life while Ben Roethlisberger was drunk and probably didn’t even take this girl’s virginity. Lastly it is unrealistic to expect your players to be role models, as much as soccer moms may beg for it. We watch these athletes for a skill they have, not for their moral values. That’s what churches and mothers are for.
Third Quote: "Your conduct raises sufficient concerns that I believe effective intervention now is the best step for your personal and professional welfare."
- Roger Goodell now thinks he is Mr. and Mrs. Roethlisberger. Some of the decisions made by Ben recently can without a doubt be questioned, but to have your boss say that you need personal and professional help is crossing the line. How Ben lives his life is his prerogative and for Roger Goodell to try to influence that could be considered along the lines of Hitler himself. After all, this is America, right? Last time I checked you didn’t lose your citizenship after signing an NFL contract.
And professional welfare? Being the youngest QB to win a Super Bowl and added a second one with of the most amazing plays in Super Bowl does not put you in professional jeopardy. Personal agendas affecting business decisions for 100 please.
Final Quote: "I believe it is essential that you take full advantage of the resources available to you. My ultimate disposition in this matter will be influenced by the extent to which you do so, what you learn as a result, and a demonstrated commitment to making positive change in your life."
- Roger Goodell now gets to decide which behavior is appropriate, cancelling out hundreds of years of social order. The resource talked about here is a behavior examination class, which Roethlisberger must attend before he can even practice with the team. This in my opinion is the biggest insult to Ben and if I was him would be outraged by this. I would take Goodell to court for harassment and anything else I could possibly muster up just to embarrass the hell out of him.
This is also more proof of a personal agenda because Goodell states that his position in this will depend on his behavior, instead of just handing down the punishment like a man. I mean come on, if your caught speeding the cop doesn’t say well you lose 2 points but if you speed again I’m changing it to 4. Speeding is speeding and behavior is behavior. Goodell is leaving himself extra room for punishment just in case big Ben forgets to cover his mouth while sneezing.
Conclusion: While there is no proof of a personal agenda I feel one does exist in this case. The fact the Ben drinks more alcohol than most small countries drink water is completely his choice and should have no affect on his professional career. I guarantee you if I enjoy some cold ones and hit the bar on the weekend I don’t lose my job, so why should he suffer?
His current suspension will equate to a $3.3 million loss in his salary plus the vending machine change the Steelers fined him for. Doesn’t seem fair that he should suffer that greatly for not breaking laws and not getting arrested.
I can only imagine what Goodell would do if Ben wasn’t making headlines at all. Suspend him for not bringing news to the NFL? Or write him a letter criticizing him for being too quiet and that NFL players are held to a higher standard when it comes to talking?