ESPN, in their coverage, managed to not even mention the reason that Roethlisberger is suspended. As did three separate articles for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, only one of which actually mentioned that he was even suspended.
Now that is top-notch rape culture reporting right there.
Today the New York Times reported that Ben Roethlisberger has returned to work. Remember the last time we heard from him? Yeah, it was a pleasant affair.
Within the last two years, there were first the allegations of sexual assault asserted in a civil lawsuit by a Reno, Nevada woman; then more recently came the night in Milledgeville, Georgia that has made the latest news cycles. The facts that have come to public light are horrible and ugly (at best) but the district attorney in the case does not have the requisite evidence to prosecute Big Ben since many rape cases revolve around the age-old “he said, she said” legal merry-go-round.
And more surprisingly, it was even reported in Boston that a THIRD alleged incident came to light almost two weeks ago.
And let’s not forget that a big part of the reason that the DA didn’t have enough evidence in the Georgia case was that the police supervisor who was initially in charge of the investigation was a biased asshole who made terrible remarks of about the victim. In the end, the officer did his job so poorly that he had to resign in the wake of it all.
[Side note: Best thing written during the entire thing was at NPR. Read it here.]
Big Ben, as they call him, has to miss 6 games because of how embarrassing all of this has been. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t practicing with his team. And that’s what he did today for the first time since everything went down. According to the NYT:
As he unloaded luggage and pillows from the car, Roethlisberger was smiling and ultrapolite, a departure from the sometimes-distant, sometimes-smirking countenance that used to grate reporters, even telling a cluster to be careful because he did not want to hit anybody with one of his bags.
“It’s good to be back,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s all about football right now. My focus is on that. It’s good to be able to put a lot of things in the off-season behind you and move on, and that’s what this is about and getting ready to play football. That’s my No. 1 focus and winning a championship. That’s what this year is about. That’s what starting tonight is about, winning a championship. That’s where I’m at with it.”
Then, with an apology and a smile, Roethlisberger, dressed head to toe in Nike, one of the sponsors that did not drop him after the allegations, asked if he could squeak through the gathering to get to his dorm room.
Aw, gee shucks, ya’ll. He sounds like a real sweetheart (you know, just like Mike Tyson in The Hangover). Maybe serial sexual assaulters/rapists can really change in a few months time. You know, after they have been professionally punished in the public sphere for being assholes. I’m sure the change is like totes genuine.
And, also, it’s great to hear that he is able to move on. That he is looking forward. That all shit in Georgia, that’s old news for him. He’s let it go. Because isn’t that what this new season is all about? Playing football and winning championships.
I’m glad that we aren’t reminded at all about the victim. But I’m sure she has moved on, too. I’m sure that the sexual assault is long gone for her, way in the past. She’s over it. Whatevs. Just put that off-season in the past, honey. I mean, he did get suspended for 6 games and people in Pittsburgh didn’t like him for a week or two. He’s been punished. It’s all good.
[Seriously that shit in the article about him asking people to be careful as he swings his bags around. Shut the fuck up, NYT. Shut. the. fuck. up.]