I’ve been pleasantly surprised that much of the media and public opinion has been against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was suspended by the NFL today for 4-6 games for violating the NFL’s conduct policy. While Roethlisberger wasn’t charged with a crime, the police report in his most recent brush with the law states that the alleged victim in the case claims that Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her. The details don’t look good for Big Ben.
In the past, sports fans usually have defended the accused athletes in similar cases, believing that the alleged victims are trying to get money from the athletes. So it’s nice to see the victim getting the benefit of the doubt for once.
On the other hand, Michael Wilbon’s defense multiple times on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption,” of Roethlisberger seems particularly boorish. Wilbon seems to have a “boys will be boys” attitude and implies that he’s seen worse. Incidentally, Wilbon’s writing quality seems to have slipped since his top priority has become TV. Wilbon is no longer the best writer in D.C.
By the way, expect Byron Leftwich to start and play well for the Steelers during Roethlisberger’s suspension. ESPN did 10 minutes on Roethlisberger today without even mentioning who his replacement would be.