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After his nth rape case has been dismissed, Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is now awaiting word from the NFL and the Steelers, who are planning a joint punishment of some sort against Roethlisberger, or at least that’s what they’re telling the media. Keep in mind, the league’s conduct policy does not necessitate charges be filed for suspensions to be handed out; you just need to thoroughly embarrass yourself, your team, and the league, in order for your salary to be nullified, and taken from your team just for having you on the roster. Mission accomplished, Big Ben. Many sources are jumping on the hang-Roethlisberger-for-treason bandwagon, but what exactly happened in the case, what will happen in the future, what should happen, etc?
Ben Roethlisberger, the quintessential Ugly American, got a bunch of girls liquored up in a club, and himself while he was at it. His goons then took one of them to a back area and stood guard so she couldn’t escape and nobody could rescue her. Roethlisberger then entered with Ben Jr. hanging out and did the nasty with her against her will, at least that’s the gist of the story.
By the way, I know he was never charged, and I know we’re supposed to preface the charges with “allegedly,” but we all know it’s guilty until proven innocent in practice. A police officer constitutionally can’t randomly approach and demand to search you, but if you say no, the law, the courts, and everyone else will just think you’re hiding something. Roethlisberger is stupid enough to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, he’s stupid to get photographed drunk on a night out, and I’m sure he’s stupid enough to do this; the media’s been saying Roethlisberger is willing to accept any Steelers and NFL punishment, which he would have no reason to do if he didn’t do SOMETHING wrong.
Crooked Sergeant Jerry Blash, the officer who investigated Roethlisberger and was photographed with him just after the rape, has now resigned. He called Roethlisberger’s accuser a “f***ing b***h” and told the lady’s friends that Roethlisberger “has a lot of money” and a complaint would be “wasting their time.” Undue words from policemen helped get O.J. off the hook, and have now seemingly helped Roethlisberger do the same. Not that the situations are exactly the same, but still. Former Sgt. Blash is probably one reason for Roethlisberger not being charged.
Why do you need to ask? Everyone’s saying that the Steelers are ready to hammer Roethlisberger with Thor’s weapon of choice, but they’re going to wait until a week or so after the draft, as is the league. What’s the point? If you’re going to punish the guy, do it already. If you keep putting it off, it sends the message that you’re not actually prepared to do anything and won’t. Even if you do something later on, it’s bound to be nothing, especially when compared with the crime. Hammurabi would be rolling in his grave at this indecision, if his remains weren’t eroded into dust by now.
First of all, Ben should be suspended indefinitely for his immoral decisions, which have earned him repeated lawsuit attempts. He’s bad for business, and he won’t learn his lesson otherwise. To that end, the Steelers should try to rid themselves of his contract by any means necessary. Without a conviction, voiding his contract won’t happen, and not too many teams would be willing to take him on. The Rams’ price tag for the #1 pick will probably be too steep for anyone to consider, which leaves the Eagles as the most likely option. Philadelphia now is left with a green quarterback as its starter instead of a proven veteran, and they do have a reputation for putting sickening criminals in quarterback positions and retaining them.
The short answer is not much, if anything at all. If Matt Cooke wasn’t even charged or punished for his blatant first degree assault and battery with attempt to inflict serious injury, why would Roethlisberger be suspended without video evidence and a dropped case? He’ll probably (at most) be suspended for a game or two, or even just given a slap on the wrist.
But of course we won’t be surprised. Whenever an organization has a huge scandal, especially one sexual in nature, they try to cover it up, downplay the incident, and try to make the public forget about it or at least feel guilty about disapproving of the guilty party’s sexual indiscretions. It’s almost like the NFL is “too big to fail,” so it can’t punish a star player like it should. The most lasting thing that will happen is that South Park will lampoon Roethlisberger and anyone else that does anything like that, or anything stupid for that matter.
Roethlisberger is an embarrassment to the Steelers, so if a suspension is too much for the league to implement (i.e. actually something), they might borrow a a page from the Catholic Church and transfer Roethlisberger to another team (where he will be free to repeat his behavior) and hope everyone forgets about what he did. Either that, or the league and the Steelers will just buy insurance to cover themselves against any future sexual lawsuits against Roethlisberger. Seriously, it’s happened before.