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mesaSteeler
08-01-2009, 08:04 PM
Roethlisberger apologizes to Steelers
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4371457&campaign=rss&source=NFLHeadlines
(Note there is a video for this see above url - mesa)

LATROBE, Pa. -- Ben Roethlisberger quickly moved to make sure his problems don't become those of the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

Roethlisberger apologized to his teammates for causing a possible distraction, then answered questions Saturday for the first time since being named as the defendant in a Nevada civil lawsuit that accuses him of sexual assault.

He declined to discuss his legal problems, or even acknowledge them, saying, "I'm playing football."

Then Roethlisberger said it again, as if to emphasize there will be no questions answered during training camp about any issue other than the Steelers.

"This is what I do, it's football," Roethlisberger said after being asked if he could stay focused. "I don't know what you're talking about. It's football."

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The two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback became testy when he sensed he would be asked again about the civil suit, saying, "Any other football questions? I can walk away if we want."

Roethlisberger's 10-minute question-and-answer session Saturday was his first since the suit was filed. He read a statement defending himself during a brief news conference on Aug. 23, several days after what he called "reckless and false" allegations were made by a resort hotel employee, but he declined then to answer questions.

While Roethlisberger faces no criminal charges, he is aware the lawsuit could potentially prove disruptive if it lasts well into the season. Three years ago, Roethlisberger's preseason motorcycle crash and appendectomy caused on- and off-field problems that lasted well into the season, and the Steelers never recovered from a 2-6 start and missed the playoffs.

With the Steelers focused on avoiding such a slip-up this time, Roethlisberger stood up at the annual team meeting that begins training camp and said he was sorry, but many teammates said his apology wasn't necessary.

Several players said they are angry about the allegations, even though they know only one side of the story.

"That's crazy, man, he doesn't have to say that to me," nose tackle Casey Hampton said. "I know how the world is. In today's society, if anybody says anything, you're guilty until you're proven innocent. I know Ben and the type person he is, and I ain't even going to say anything about it [or] I'm going to go off."

Steelers center Justin Hartwig is unhappy that Roethlisberger is being judged publicly before any facts are revealed.

"Unfortunately the court of public opinion judges and that's just the way it is, whether it's fair or not," he said.

Troy Polamalu shrugged off the potential impact of the Roethlisberger suit, saying it has nothing to do with football and that NFL players regularly deal with off-field problems.

"I don't think it's a distraction for the team or him, either. I think Ben has had to handle a lot more stuff outside of football than anybody on this team, probably," Polamalu said. "That just comes with the territory. He's become accustomed to that lifestyle and it will be easy for him to separate the two issues."

Few NFL players like the endless practices and spartan, dorm-room lifestyle of a training camp held on a college campus like Pittsburgh's, but Ward said "it's kind of our safe haven" in these kind of situations.

"When we step on the field, it's about football," Ward said. "I know Ben, and he's looking forward to coming out here and competing. We don't see Ben being a distraction."

Roethlisberger apparently plans to handle the situation the way he does other potential distractions.

"Do the best you can, smile and go," he said.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

Crow-Magnon
08-01-2009, 08:07 PM
With the Steelers focused on avoiding such a slip-up this time, Roethlisberger stood up at the annual team meeting that begins training camp and said he was sorry, but many teammates said his apology wasn't necessary.

I have to agree with Ben's teammates. If it is indeed a frivolous BS lawsuit without merit, why should Ben, or any NFL player for that matter, apologize to anyone?

Preacher
08-01-2009, 08:18 PM
but Ward said "it's kind of our safe haven" in these kind of situations.

and this is why I actually think this whole lawsuit thing will make Ben even MORE dangerous as a QB this year. He will be so happy to be in the lockerroom, on the field, that he will probably be hyper focused...

stillers4me
08-01-2009, 09:25 PM
It's good to hear is teammates say what a crock of shit it is. They know Ben. Tomlin stands by him. That's enough for me.

Edman
08-01-2009, 10:06 PM
Even if the lawsuit is bullshit (and it is), it's a potential distraction. Ben is apologizing out of respect for his teammates, and letting his personal life getting out in the media. Hampton is right, in this Western Society, being accused is enough to be guilty. Even if we don't know all the facts.

We all know what kind of person Ben is. And we all know what kind of headcase Mcnutty is.

We're all behind you, Ben.

alittlejazzbird
08-01-2009, 10:13 PM
Interesting...and heartening. From ProFootballTalk.com:

Steelers bold in support of Roethlisberger
http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2009/08/01/-hes-handled-it-how/
Posted by Tom Curran on August 1, 2009 8:00 PM ET

You'd think there would be some apprehension in the Steelers organization about the civil suit filed last week in Nevada against Ben Roethlisberger.

You'd think that, but you'd be wrong.

Today at St. Vincent's College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Big Ben's teammates and coaches didn't merely close ranks and pledge support as one would expect, they actually expressed dismissiveness bordering on hostility about the suit on this first day of the Steelers 2009 training camp.

Asked after the team's afternoon practice if he's impressed with the way Roethlisberger has handled the situation, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said, "He's handled it how I expected him to handle it to be quite honest with you."

Pausing, Tomlin shook his head and said,"This is . . . ." He caught himself and said, "You know, I understand it's that time of year and it's something to talk about but this is . . . you know, it's not gonna be an issue for us, it's really not. If this derails our football team we got a lot more problems than this story."

Roethlisberger addressed his teammates about the situation Friday night, explaining "his side of the story" according to teammate Hines Ward, a little speech which may not have been the best idea, writes Emperor Florio.

And, while his teammates may not have studied the 36-page complaint filed to get a more balanced picture, it doesn't seem they intend to either.

"He explained his side and we believe in our quarterback and it's just a frivolous situation where someone is trying to make some money," said Steelers linebacker James Harrison. "And that's all that is. You can't even print what I'd like to say."

Said safety Ryan Clark, "He's been a man about it. He addressed us all. He told us the situation and told us it wouldn't affect how he plays football. Guys accept him. We love him. We weren't there. We believe what he says. What happens there is not going to affect what happens on this grass."

Earlier in the day, Roethlisberger addressed a gaggle of reporters and played dumb when asked about how he's been able to remain focused.

"This is what I do, it's football. I don't know what you're talking about, I play football, I come out here and play football."

Asked about support from his teammates, Roethlisberger answered, "It's good because they have my back and I have theirs."

When other entreaties were made about the issue, Roethlisberger cautioned that he would stop talking if they persisted. "Any other football questions? I can walk away if we want."

The upshot of the day? While this entire situation is going to boil down to "he said, she said," it's clear that whatever Roethlisberger's told his employers and co-workers about what happened convinced them to boldly defend him.

X-Terminator
08-01-2009, 11:02 PM
I have to agree with Ben's teammates. If it is indeed a frivolous BS lawsuit without merit, why should Ben, or any NFL player for that matter, apologize to anyone?

You're right, but Ben respects and loves the guys so much that he felt it was something he had to do. Of course, you will have idiots try and twist this into some kind of admission of guilt, when it is the furthest thing from it.

Nice to see you again, Crow...

Crow-Magnon
08-02-2009, 06:11 AM
You're right, but Ben respects and loves the guys so much that he felt it was something he had to do. Of course, you will have idiots try and twist this into some kind of admission of guilt, when it is the furthest thing from it.

Nice to see you again, Crow...

That's my point. I realize we are in that day and age where celebs and atheletes apologize for anything and everything. As if a simple apology will excuse totally criminal behavior like aggravated assault, attempted murder, etc. So if you are totally 100% innocent, I would think apologizing is not the way to go, as it will make some people question why he's apologizing if he's innocent.

Fair? No. But that's the way it is today.

Hey! Good to be back! I missed talkin' football with you guys and gals!

Galax Steeler
08-02-2009, 08:34 AM
Thanks Crow I hate to see this kind of thing happen with any body. Everyone know that this B_T_H is just a gold digger wanting money. I just hope in the end that the truth will come out and she gets what she deserves.

Crow-Magnon
08-02-2009, 08:50 AM
Thanks Crow I hate to see this kind of thing happen with any body. Everyone know that this B_T_H is just a gold digger wanting money. I just hope in the end that the truth will come out and she gets what she deserves.

I'm sure of it, but unfortunately our legal system permits this type of crapola. I could probably sue you because you called me a ratbird fan on this site. I guarantee some shyster would take the case.

Frivolous lawsuits really suck and they can cost you big time and big money no matter how goofy they are. Funny though that this wench waited until just prior to training camp to file suit. That seems awfully planned to me. Maybe someone else is behind this with an alterior motive.