This Week in Hating
A plea to a left tackle: Solve Big Ben's little problem
Oh, to be the Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle.
As I learned from Sandra Bullock last year, the left tackle is the lineman who looks out for the quarterback's blind side. But maybe the left tackle could forget to hustle just a little bit? Because never has there been a quarterback who deserves to be violently thrown to the ground as one Ben Roethlisberger.
While the civil trial for his first publicized alleged sexual assault, of a hotel employee in Lake Tahoe, Nev., is still pending, police reports were released last week showing what everyone seems to agree is disgusting, abominably bad behavior with a 20-year-old co-ed in a Georgia bar last month. But what not enough people are saying is that the police reports detail, pretty clearly in my opinion, a flagrant plan that was carried out by Roethlisberger — with two of his bodyguards/off-duty cops serving as accessories.
While I'm personally disturbed any time a possible rapist in any case gets to stay out of jail after the victim asks prosecutors not to follow through on a trial, I understand the woman's decision in this particular instance. When the officer leading the investigation refers to you as a "bitch" and takes fanpics with your attacker, you know the deck is stacked against you.
And the mudslinging has already begun. Just take Baltimore Sun columnist Susan Reimer who intoned, "Girlfriend, if you get that drunk you bear some responsibility for what happens next, whether you get your purse stolen or you get roughed up in a dingy bar bathroom."
Well, lady, first of all, when slut-shaming and blaming possible rape victims, do them the favor of not pretending to be their girlfriend, OK? Zero snaps for you.
And further: If your eventual rapist is the one pouring shots down your throat, does that mean he "bears some responsibility" too? And, to use your analogy, if my purse is stolen, regardless of the circumstances, that's still a crime, is it not? So while common sense and moderation are always your friend, the only person "responsible" for a rape is the person committing it.
Without charges or a trial, we can never really have that reasonable doubt about the incidents erased. But to Ben's defenders — and I know you're out there, I read your Internet comments — I have one question. You might think that he's not guilty of criminal conduct, but would you honestly leave your daughter alone with him?
And while one aforementioned police officer has lost his job over this incident (resigning), I can think of two more who need to go: Pennsylvania State Trooper Edward Joyner and Coraopolis, Penn. police officer Anthony Barravecchio. These are the bodyguards who, according to the report, first took the woman from the public VIP area with her friends into a room alone on a stool — where later Big Ben would enter with Little Ben already out on display — then blocked her friends from coming to get her when they were concerned, and when questioned denied any memory of the events.
These men have obviously forgotten what the meaning of "serve and protect" is, and with their actions should forfeit their positions of authority and their pensions.
When those in his employ see that Roethlisberger's actions have negative consequences for everyone but him — and please, don't try to convince me that the upcoming probable NFL suspension is an acceptable punishment — then maybe their memory will start to come around.
Until then, it's down to the left tackle. Take it easy, buddy.