For the second time in less than a year, the player that Jason Cole thinks is better than Peyton Manning has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s night of bar-hopping in a central Georgia college town ended with a new allegation against him after a 20-year-old college student told police he sexually assaulted her in a nightclub.
The two-time Super Bowl winner already faces a lawsuit from a woman who claims he raped her in 2008 at a Lake Tahoe hotel and casino, an allegation he strongly denies. Roethlisberger has not been charged in either case.
Unlike the last time Big Ben was accused raping someone, ESPN actually reported this most recent incident of Big Ben allegedly acting like a big prick. In July 2009, when the first story broke, ESPN "blogger" James Walker conveniently left the incident off his blog roll. I guess the hacktastic, journalistic blight that is ESPN isn't trying to cozy up to Ben anymore. Amazing how things change when you don't make the playoffs.
Of course, we remind everyone that ESPN was all over Marvin Harrison allegedly shooting at a known felon outside his Philadelphia bar in 2008. That incident generated numerous ESPN articles, painting Harrison as some kind of crazy, gun wild thug. Like the Roethlisberger incidents (notice the plural), Harrison's brush with the law resulted in no charges from the police or DA's office. The only legal action Harrison faced out of it was a law suit from the victim, Dwight Dixon.
Side note: I anxiously await Jason Fagone's new NFL-related GQ article, this time on "Ben Roethlisberger, The Dirtiest Playa." Sadly, I doubt we will see it. Jason seems to only enjoy going after black wide receivers from poor, urban communities. White QBs from Ohio might be off his radar.
Back to Roethlisberger and ESPN, we're glad that, this time around, the Mouse-owned sports network decided to do their jobs and report on actual news. While I firmly believe in "innocent until proven guilty," a second rape allegation in less than a year does not paint Big Ben in a pleasant light. And before people from Pittsburgh start screaming that "SHE'S AFTER HIS MONEY!" I'll point out that you don't see players like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, or Drew Brees getting accused of rape. They've got lots of money too, you know.
TMZ broke the story on Roethlisberger, so they deserve a link as well. You can also read more at Behind the Steel Curtain. In fact, one commenter from the BtSC offered up another Roethlisberger story:
I'll state the obvious here: If Peyton Manning were doing this kind of stuff, I'd want him off the team. How you conduct yourself off the field is as important as what you accomplish on the field. Winning championships and MVPs does not give one a pass to act like a schmuck. People who think otherwise are useless people whose opinions are not backed up by any moral clarity.
Somehow, this time around, I doubt we will see Ben get in front of the cameras, declaring this woman's accusations "reckless." Instead, we suspect Ben will hide away and let lawyers deal with his issues.