Is Ben Roethlisberger a good guy? Well, there are compelling reasons to say that he is not, considering he has been accused of assaulting women on two separate occasions. One can only wonder whether there have been other incidents he has been involved with that were not reported to the authorities.
As a result of his latest brush with the law, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for 6 games, but then agreed to reduce the ban to 4 games if Roethlisberger exhibited good behavior leading up to the beginning of the NFL season. Ben followed the plan to improve his behavior as set up by the commissioner and his suspension was reduced to 4 games.
So why did Terry Bradshaw say that “he prays the commissioner doesn’t reduce the suspension” because of the way Roethlisberger treats women? They had a deal and both parties fulfilled their ends of the bargain. End of story! At least you might have thought.
In an interesting twist, it turns out that Bradshaw wasn’t such a model citizen himself when he was a star quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bradshaw wrote in his book, “I had separated myself from God. I lived only for Terry Bradshaw, not for God. I tried to be one of the boys and went to every honky-tonk I could find and chased women and behaved in a way that was totally alien to anything I had ever known before.”
So, my question is, given Bradshaw’s past, why is he coming down so hard on Roethlisberger; and is his desire to have Goodell throw the book at Ben appropriate? Perhaps, if Bradshaw had justified his support for the full suspension based on his own faulty past, and had he stated that he could have used such a “wake up call” when he was a player, his position would not seem so hypocritical. Instead he went on a rant about current NFL players and their big egos. True, he never sexually assaulted the women he was chasing, nonetheless, based on his own admission, his track record isn’t squeaky clean and he was never disciplined for his misbehavior towards women.
Bradshaw, I believe, made two mistakes: One, he overstepped his boundaries by offering an opinion on a matter that was already decided. Two, and most importantly, he should not be advocating for a severe punishment for someone whose behavior was similar, if not identical, to his own behavior that went unpunished! Hasn’t he learned that people that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?
It’s easy for us to be critical of others, but unless our behavior in that area is beyond reproach, perhaps it is better that we should keep our criticisms to ourselves.
Tradition teaches us not to judge someone until we are in their position. Bradshaw was in Rothlisberger’s position and he behaved almost as poorly. While Ben’s behavior certainly deserves criticism, Bradshaw seems to be the wrong person to be delivering it.
All of us are imperfect and we all do things we are ashamed of. When we do bad things, we deserve to be rebuked. I suggest however, that when we choose to criticize others, if we recognize our own flaws, we may be more forgiving of those in other people.