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.”
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.
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.