By Doug Halberstadt
Last week, I initiated a column I hope I can continue weekly. I call it “Knucklehead Athlete of the Week.” Unfortunately, that column did not make it into the paper. Many of you may have missed it because it only ran in our online edition. You can read that original column by accessing the online edition of The Rock River Times at www.rockrivertimes.com/2010/04/21/knucklehead-athlete-of-the-week-edwin-valero/.
This week, the contemptible and loathsome honor goes to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Even though he was cleared of any criminal charges resulting from a sexual assault complaint filed last month in Georgia against him by a 20-year-old college student, he still wasn’t able to escape the wrath of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The commissioner handed out some justice of his own. He suspended Roethlisberger for six games for violation of the league’s personal conduct policy. Goodell was confident that punishment was warranted based on the NFL’s independent investigation.
Roethlisberger’s suspension could be cut to four games if he follows Goodell’s directive to undergo behavioral evaluation by medical professionals and he follows any recommended counseling plan.
Ben, for crying out loud, you are a superstar in the NFL. You should avoid any situation where you could be accused rightly or wrongly of any type of sexual assault.
In the future, you should avoid entering strip clubs at all costs. By all means, if the situation does arise down the road—where by some circumstances beyond your control you are dragged kicking and screaming into one of those clubs— for God’s sake DON’T TOUCH ANYONE!
If you know of someone who you’d like to nominate for “Knucklehead Athlete of the Week,” e-mail me your suggestion at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the April 28-May 4, 2010 issue