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Sharpe: ‘Very, Very Concerning’ That Former Players Are Not Defending Ben Roethlisberger’s Leadership

I honestly don’t know if Josh Harris is enjoying the attention or is annoyed by it. Pittsburgh Steelers fans have certainly devoted a lot of negative attention to him since he accused quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of intentionally fumbling in a 2014 game. But the media picked up the ball and has continued to run with it.

Now it’s making the rounds on all the sports talk shows, including Undisputed, in which Shannon Sharpe turned it into another speech about Roethlisberger’s leadership. And he can’t, for the life of him, understand why he hasn’t seen anybody come to his defense.

“I’ve never seen anything like this. Even the devil [people can say something nice about]. ‘Well when it’s cold, the devil, he got a nice place you can visit’”, he said. “Not one former player has anything positive about Ben Roethlisberger’s leadership — be it offense or defense. That should be very, very concerning to the Steelers. And you want people to follow him? And people that were in the locker room, that were supposedly following him, had problems with his leadership”.

Frankly I haven’t been keeping tabs on what all the retired players have said, but has anybody asked for the opinion of Max Starks? Of Brett Keisel? I know that Charlie Batch has had positive things to say about Roethlisberger, and he’s surely not the only one. But of course the negative press is what gets covered.

“Even if this is not true, and I believe that’s it’s more probable that it is, the Steelers got a serious problem on their hands”, Sharpe said regarding the fumble and about Roethlisberger as a leader more broadly speaking.

“They need to ask themselves, of all the retired players, why hasn’t one retired player come to Ben’s defense with this leadership thing? That’s the guy that moving forward you chose to go with”, he went on. “But everybody that’s come out has questioned Ben’s leadership. The Rooney, Kevin Colbert, and Mike Tomlin. Mike Tomlin, you bear a lot of responsibility. You let this thing get out of hand. You let certain players have certain privilege, and they saw it. And so now this is the mess that you created”.

At 33, and having signed a new contract, he’s not quite retired, but one current player succinctly explained why so many have kept their mouths shut. “Never argue with a fool, those from a distance can’t tell who’s who”, Ramon Foster Tweeted a few days ago. “They’d never listen anyway. Narratives have already been written. Playing clean up doesn’t work for illogical people”.

Yesterday, in response to a Tweet about Roethlisberger making a list of all the people saying negative things about him, he said, “we all making a list. Never forget”. And really, what is there to gain for somebody to come out and defend Roethlisberger? So he can be raked over the coals from the national media who have already decided what it is that they think?

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