How Many People Owe Ben Roethlisberger an Apology Today?

10 04 2010

Over the past month, the grist mill known as the American sports media has been all a-twitter with the recent sexual assault allegations leveled in Georgia at Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. During that time, I felt as if I were the only writer in America who stuck by the decidedly American tenet of “innocent until proven guilty.”

Big Ben will win another Super Bowl before he gets the apology he deserves.

Today, it seems that many in the media owe Roethlisberger an apology. Today, it seems that the police in Georgia have turned over their findings to the local prosecutor who apparently will not file any criminal charges in this matter. Today, it seems Roethlisberger has nothing in this case for which he needs to defend himself criminally.

“Sources confirmed to ESPN’s Kelly Naqi that District Attorney Fred Bright will announce on Monday that charges will not be brought against Roethlisberger. Bright said in a statement Friday he has reviewed all the investigation reports and will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. ET Monday.”

Far too many people had “Big Ben” charged, tried, and convicted in this matter. Well, that isn’t going to happen. First of all, as I stated before, it was crucial to this case to understand the definition of  “Sexual Assault” as it pertains to Georgia law.

“Under Georgia law, sexual assault covers a range of offenses from rape — with a minimum of 25 years imprisonment — to sexual battery, described as making “physical contact with the intimate parts of the body of another person” without consent.”

By not filing criminal charges, it is the position of the prosecutor that either a) Roethlisberger’s actions did not meet the criteria to be defined as “sexual assault” and/or b) there was not sufficient evidence to support a claim that r in fact committed a crime. Understand here that what we’re talking about is the commission of a crime. A lot of the bleating coming from the keyboard-bound sheep in the media quickly got away from the legal aspect of this and delved into a lot of speculation about Roethlisberger’s judgement. Of course, this was all bullshit, and not harm-free bullshit either.

“In other words, it is CRUCIAL that the facts of what actually happened come to light. Until then, all the speculation and pontificating only serves to cloud the true picture, and frankly, makes those who engage in it look foolish.”

Well, Michelle Beadle and Colin Cowherd (just to name two), you look a bit foolish today because you used your cable-bound pulpit at ESPN to lead the charge with statements like this:

“The first example of this “rush to judgement” orgy came from the mouth of Michelle Beadle. During her daily “shuck and jive” with Colin Cowherd, she elucidated that Roethlisberger “must have an aggressive manner towards women.” This was the underpinning for her assertion that ”one accusation can happen to anybody; two is a pattern.”

A few days later, Cowherd made a stride for the middle ground with the boiler-plate statement “We don’t know all the facts yet.” But then he joined the chorus with “In cases like this, I tend to side with the victim.”

All this does is place Beadle and Cowherd in the same vein as the accuser. While they may not have leveled the accusations, they certainly and unfairly perpetuated them. Regardless of the criminal aspect of this case, Roethlisberger’s reputation has suffered even though he has been found guilty of NOTHING.

Will Beadle and Cowherd introduce some leadership to the World Wide Leader? I wouldn't hold my breath.

I don’t want to seem as though I am beating on Beadle and Cowherd, as I am actually a big fan of SportsNation.  But I would love to see them be big enough to admit they were wrong in this case, show some leadership to the bleating sheep, and give Ben Roethlisberger the apology he deserves.

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5 responses

13 04 2010
Claude Balls

Your rush to declare Roethlisberger innocent of any crime is based on no better logic than was the rush to convict him. The prosecutor’s decision not to prosecute is not automatic vindication for Roethlisberger. The prosecutor did not say, “We won’t be prosecuting because we don’t think Ben did it.” He said “We won’t be prosecuting because we don’t think we have sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.” Big difference. If the complaining witness refuses to cooperate, there’s no way to get a conviction, whether Roethisberger raped her or not. And if you don’t think that Roehtlisberger likely wrote a large check to make this go away, you are being willfully naive. The truth is, none of us will ever know what happened that night. We aren’t and won’t be privy to the facts.

If we follow your argument to its logical end, everyone who ever expressed the belief that OJ Simpson killed his ex-wife owes OJ an apology. “Innocent until proven guilty” only means that the State must meet its burden of proof before it can take away the accused’s freedom. It does not mean that rest of us have to blithely treat him as if he has been wrongfully accused.

18 04 2010
Roethlisberger: Time to Write a Check « Dubsism

[...] Time to Write a Check 18 04 2010 The last time I weighed in on this case, I made it a point to state that rushing to judgement in a criminal matter was a mistake; that time [...]

31 08 2010
Ask The Geico Guy: Is Jay Mariotti A Bitch? « Dubsism

[...] is innocent of criminal charges until they are proven guilty. After all,  I took loads of crap for defending Ben Roethlisberger against criminal charges, but there was no way I wouldn’t say the guy is a douchebag. After [...]

10 11 2010
I Still Believe in “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” « Dubsism

[...] proven guilty.  To prove it, I still have a fun collection of hate mail I received for defending Ben Roethlisberger. But I have to admit, the Cam Newton/Auburn story is making it hard to maintain that faith. At [...]

2 02 2011
Why You Shouldn’t Cheer For…The Pittsburgh Steelers « Dubsism

[...] to understand this reference to Roethlisberger’s dislike of bloggers. The bottom line is that some of us defended this turd-swallower during his issues this past spring, so wanting us to all be dodgeballed is simply [...]

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