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Does Big Ben’s Punishment Fit The Crime

Submitted by on April 22, 2010 – 8:43 am12 Comments

By now you’ve heard that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been suspended for six games for violating NFL personal conduct policy. The two-time Super Bowl champion was accused of sexual assault stemming from an incident that occurred at a Georgia nightclub in March. Although the charges have been dropped by his 21-year-old accuser, Roethlisberger still received disciplinary action from the NFL for his role in the event. From what has been gathered from both the accuser and Roethlisberger, the pro bowl quarterback did just about everything but rape the young lady.

This is what liquor, bad judgment and an overactive sex drive have cost Big Ben: $2.8 million of his $102 million deal, endorsements, six games and perhaps the affinity of Pittsburgh’s rabid football fan base.

The question remains whether the punishment fits the crime.

Take this into consideration: This is the first time the NFL has suspended a player under the conduct policy who has not been arrested or charged with a crime. This is also the second time Big Ben has been accused of sexual assault. He is currently being sued for a 2008 incident in Lake Tahoe involving Andrea McNulty. His image as a professional player and his judgment have been in question before following a motorcycle accident in 2006 where Roethlisberger wasn’t wearing a helmet and did not have a valid motorcycle license. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has apparently had enough of Roethlisberger’s antics and decided to play judge, jury and executioner to protect the image of his league and send a message to the rest of the NFL.

Is it too severe or not severe enough? I can see both sides.

Some are questioning the factor of race—if this was happening to Donovan McNabb, would the punishment be the same? By suspending a player simply for his antics, though he isn’t being charged with a crime, we may never know.

There is also the question of star power. If Roethlisberger was a kicker rather than a two-time Super Bowl–winning quarterback, would this be swept under the rug by the league? Does the quarterback’s social status merit a bigger microscope to be placed over his career?

Is it fair the league’s commissioner can hand down a suspension based on an accusation? Perhaps this means if a player is rumored to have been in a fight at a strip club though his involvement in the incident is unclear, Goodell can ultimately decide if the accusations require suspension, making him one powerful judge and jury.

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  • Keely says:

    Nope, his ass should rot in jail. If you rape someone once, let alone twice, you should be in prison for the rest of your life. And you know he raped both of them, he just paid em off. Neither of these girls recanted their stories, they just wished not to continue with charges because they knew about the media circus that would follow. Ben will meet his true judge with God…

  • If anything the media would be on the girl’s side. Media had tiger apologizing to all kinds of people that knew he was married etc. Can’t really say if he was guilty or not because I wasn’t there. But he is basically a target for females to get paid. Then again he’s in a position to do what he wants. It’s a double edged sword.

    But it is fair for the coach to be judge jury and executioner. Reason being, the player knows what he represents and he’s getting such a substantial amount, he should accept it. It’s not a regular job so why should it be regular punishment etc?

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  • reggin says:

    Not only this nut job should be suspended for six games, he should be traded. Its already bad he tarnished the steelers organization and making him stay there just as more fuel to the ever growing controversy.I am sure the sports media will bring it up this fall 2010 season. It just puzzles me this guy has millions of dollars and can lower himself in going to regular bars hitting on drunk and eager chicks where he can go to a more classier place and get more educated and better looking ladies in the field. I guess his brain is between his legs when he goes out to drink and now he finally got busted. What a pathetic person!The steelers should just get rid of him at the end of the season. Bar none!!

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