As it stands, Ben Roethlisberger has emerged from danger largely unhurt on multiple occasions. A motorcycle accident that could have easily been the end of his life, concussions sustained on the field playing the sport he loves, and two allegations of sexual assault within the past year – with one case failing to result in charges and the other a pending civil suit which he has a counter-claim for – haven’t taken marked tolls on the two-time Super Bowl champion. Today as he and his advisors meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to determine the next steps in any possible league-related disciplinary action, a Boston-based attorney is coming forward with new information that may offer insight as to the type of cat Roethlisberger may be.
Harry Manion appeared on the Dennis and Callahan show that airs on WEEI and spoke on his connection to the Big Ben saga:
“Six months ago I was retained by a client of mine and a close friend to investigate allegations against Ben Roethlisberger in a Las Vegas nightclub that were absolutely identical to this Georgia girl’s story,” said Manion, a partner at the firm of Cooley Manion Jones, LLP and a frequent guest of WEEI. “The outcome was that the young woman did not want to proceed, and we did not take any action. There is a history here — and I can’t say any further because we never proceeded with it — but there is a history here that is just super troubling.”
So this would make the third case involving Roethlisberger and sexual impropriety. The saying I’ve always heard is that people don’t consistently say the same things about you if they’re not true; across the board, women are saying that Roethlisberger is not playing by the rules. There’s always a group of people out there looking for a payday, and they do tend to turn up once it’s been determined that a target has presented themselves. Now for whatever reason, Big Ben is this target. Has he placed the sights on his back due to his own unwillingness to be turned down, or is he just the latest athlete to have his name dragged through the mud? Manion speaks further about Ben:
“Unless he’s totally brain dead — and we don’t know — he would be scared,” Manion said. “Because he has really walked a perilous line here. There’s a whole litany here, not only my experience, I have connected with several other people that have experience. And you know, there’s only so far that he said/she said will get you. There’s only so far that paying hush money will get you, if hush money is paid. And there’s only so far that, ‘Gee, we’re celebrities, we have a target on our back,’ will get you. When you see this much smoke, month after month and continuously …” Added Manion: “It’s the scene that he’s gotten himself caught up with, and the belief that he can walk, and so far, so good. But it’s hurting him. He’s hurt. He has been damaged. And the next one, the wrath of God’s going to come down on him, if there is a next one.”
Tiger Woods spoke of feeling “entitled,” that he believed he was justified in his actions because of the station in life he occupied. He felt that he was entitled to consensual extramarital affairs. Maybe Ben Roethlishberger is showing his sense of entitlement, his belief that his status makes him above the law or beyond reproach for his actions; maybe he doesn’t believe any of these things and simply just can’t take no for an answer. But there’s no denying that he has repeatedly placed himself in situations where his innocence can be called into question, and that’s just not the move that a smart man makes.
Ben is a supposed to be a leader; a leader of men on the gridiron, a leader of the community off the field. Barkley’s debate aside, you can’t choose the light that people have painted you in or the position you occupy due to your fame. When will that leader lead and quit following himself to the same disasters; when will he prove that he’s got a little captain in him, more than in title alone?