Ben Roethlisberger, Tiger Woods and The Modern American Sex Scandal

Scott Michael LeddyCorrespondent IApril 28, 2010

It seems that one cannot open a newspaper or website without the words SEX, SCANDAL, or (gasp) both combined in a sports headline. Athletes have left politicians in the dust in terms of philandering and have become the new face of the modern-day sex scandal. 

This is not shocking. Hell, this isn’t even really news. What is shocking is that so many Americans are shocked by the actions of these professional athletes.

Why? You all remember the All-American jock in high school. He was cocky. He was insufferable. He wasn’t always bright, but boy did those ladies love him, and boy did he love them back. All of them. 

Now, take that same guy, give him a couple million dollars a year, give him national exposure and thousands of adoring fans, and you expect the guy to be the poster boy for healthy domestic partnerships? Please.

I can’t remember the last time when there wasn’t at least some minor investigation into a sports related sex scandal, but it has always bothered me that it ruffled so many people’s feathers.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying I condone the actions of these athletes in any way, shape, or form. It’s not their fault. We as a people have made it too easy for them to grow enormous egos and think they can get away with murder. Well, besides Ray Lewis, nobody has actually gotten away with murder, but you catch my drift. 

I just can’t fathom the American populace that acts as if never in their wildest dreams could have imagined someone like Ben Roethlisberger doing something inappropriate. I mean, come on. Look at the guy.  He looks just like thousands of other guys copping unwarranted feels in bars all across America.

Here’s the difference: People WORSHIP Big Ben. He’s the face of Pittsburgh. There’s a sandwich named after him (that’s when you know you’ve made it.) A dozen girls on a given night probably throw themselves at him. So when there’s one that doesn’t, he probably assumed she was just shy.

Yes, what he did was wrong, but why is it really so surprising?

The problem with giving such exposure to these scandals is that it very easy for someone to simply cry ‘foul play’ and we all assume that the athlete is guilty without due process of the law. Now this no-name girl has her name in the headlines and a big fat settlement check from (insert pro’s name here).

Way to go, sugar.

Let’s look at the Kobe case, one of the more talked about sports scandals: This girl has sex with Kobe (no surprise), brags about it at a party (no surprise), and then says he raped her (say what?) And then she refuses to testify (no surprise.) It’s easy to lie to a newspaper or get your friends to lie for you, but when you’re eye to eye with a Judge Hatchett look-alike, it isn’t so easy.

She had another man’s semen on the underpants she wore to the rape exam, and evidence of having multiple sexual partners in two days. Does this sound like the girl-next-door who would say “no” to a superstar sports icon? Not really. 

The problem is that some people will have Kobe labeled ‘rapist’ in the back of their minds in indelible ink. All it takes is the accusation to ruin a guy’s reputation.

Bottom line is, we treat these guys like gods and expect them to act like choirboys.

So, I beseech you Americans, before you decry all athletes as being incorrigible, adulterous no-goodnicks, ask yourself this: Who is more to blame, those few with the power, or those thousands who willingly give power to them?