"What Got To Me Today" series, "Sports For Chicks" (not necessarily chicks who play sports!) and Essays and Excerpts
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Women need to take a stand against Ben Roethlisberger: A Sports For Chicks and What Got To Me Today? Combo!
This is the first time ever my Sports For Chicks series also qualifies for my What Got To Me Today? series. I can't believe what I am hearing today about the way the NFL is handling the Ben Rothlesberger scandal.
For those of you unfamiliar with this particular topic, here it is in a nutshell: Ben Roethlisberger is the beloved quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has been accused of sexually assaulting a 20 year old woman in a bathroom while two of his cronies guarded the door. He did not rebut the charges. This is not his first alleged sexual abuse. He kind of has a habit of women accusing him of not knowing the meaning of "no means no". This is the second time he's had to say something like, " I'm sorry this makes my team look bad" but never sorry to the girl.
I love football more than any other sport, and next to the Lions, have been a huge fan of the Steelers, but more back in the day when Cower was coach and Bettis battled though the defense as a monster fullback, even back when Cordell Stewart was the man in the pocket. That being said, I can't convey enough, how the NFL let me down today.
All we're hearing in the media is what a great example NFL Commissioner Goodell is setting for players across the league because he suspended Roethlisberger for six games. The district attorney on the case says there is not enough evidence to prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, so that is why he didn't indict. I get that. I'm totally for the "innocent until proven guilty" thing in a court of law. But what do you say about a guy who has two sexual assault allegations over the past two years? Both with the same MO, and the rumor mill says there are more that date back to when he was in college. For pete's sake he is being called "a serial rapist that won't get busted because he's Big Ben". At least, he should have steeper consequences on the field and in the eyes of his fans.
Which fans? How about the hundreds of thousands of kids in this country who sport his jersey? How about the hundreds of thousands of female fans who sport his jersey in pink? Ben Roethlisberger is in the top ten most recognizable faces list for the league. He is one of the NFL's mega-star quarterbacks. If he was any other joe, without the money, resources, and fame, he'd be locked up already.
So, yay, Big Ben can't play six whole games. Awww...that is so sad. He might even have to think of the consequences of his actions while he sits on the bench, for three hours before hopping into his fully loaded Cadillac Escalade and driving home to his life of luxury. Those two women aren't living a life of luxury. They aren't even asking (in case you thought they might be law-suit happy). They are sitting on a different bench, living with real consequences. You know what? Enough is enough.
An article in the Florida Sentinal today talked about the power of the NFL's female fans. And there are a LOT of us...like 34%. If the judicial system isn't going to take a stand against this kind of behavior, and the league is only going to give Roethlisberger a time-out, then I say female fans need to take matters into their own hands. I think we need to take the boycott ball and run with it! No more Steelers #7 jerseys, no more ticket sales, cutoff Steelers support and encourage their husbands, boyfriends and anyone else to do the same until Big Ben is out.
The NFL is my favorite place to be every Sunday between August and February. I literally live and breathe football during the season...especially my LIONS. So I want the NFL to live up to the adoration of its fans, and to appreciate the fact that a huge number of fans out there are wearing pink jerseys, and have influence over those wearing every other color of jersey.
So Mr. Goodell, show us, all of your female NFL fans, a little respect. Many of us are the ones shopping in your NFL stores and signing the credit card statements. We are throwing the parties to rally around your games. We are worthy of more than you are giving. On the eve of the Draft, please, please, please, give us a reason to stand up and cheer for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the rest of the league, by standing up for what is right for women.