If only some woman could please just come out and accuse the man of raping her, this would all be so much simpler. Or so it might seem in skimming through a recent article on Sports Illustrated’s website written by S.L. Price, which seems to lament that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has not overtly done anything wrong off the field since he was accused of raping a woman in Milledgeville, GA back in the early offseason of 2010.
Price opines that Roethlisberger’s true “growth as a person” is “hardly as clear” in the approaching seven years since the Milledgeville incident that purportedly changed his life, though his most convincing evidence seems to be not the good that he has done, nor the ever-growing family that he concedes the quarterback genuinely dotes over, but rather the lack of evidence of him doing anything wrong.
So, it seems until Roethlisberger does something wrong again, we can never know if he is truly “reformed”, in his word. In other words, he will never actually be reformed, in the eyes of a not insignificant number of people.
There is no redemption for somebody who was accused of rape, even when the accusations lacked credible evidence to even file a formal charge. An accused rapist has no path to redemption, but the door will be held wide open for the relapse that will allow the righteous to brand the fallen one an irredeemable sinner.
This is not to say that Roethlisberger is surely and truly a wonderful person whose every action and thought is pure and wonderful, and has always been. He has routinely admitted to the shortcomings of his late adolescence and early adulthood, in which he became entitled and arrogant and felt invincible—even when he nearly lost his life in a motorcycle accident after ignoring the advice of his head coach to wear a helmet.
The Steelers’ story in ending the season on a seven-game winning streak, and Roethlisberger’s heroics in clinching the division with a pair of comeback victories over two contentious division opponents in the late stages of the season, is a fantastic headliner. But Price believes we would all be remiss not to remind ourselves of the fact that two women once accused Roethlisberger of raping them, in spite of the fact that nothing of importance ever came out of either accusation.
Price cites the fact that Roethlisberger has grown to have a chilly relationship with his ‘hometown’ of Findlay, Ohio, where he spent the most formative years of his adolescence being raised and rising as a sports star. He talks about how the town largely turned its back on Roethlisberger, who now lists his hometown as Cory Rawson.
And I’m supposed to care about this and read into this something about the man’s character? Please, stop. Just stop. Speaking not as a fan of the team that he plays for, but simply as a human being that does actually believe in redemption, do please give it a rest.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 4, 2017