Though the civil complaint alleging sexual assault against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has escaped the attention of one fairly large media outlet, the matter hasn’t been lost on the guy who runs the league in which Roethlisberger plays.
On Tuesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the situation.
“I don’t know enough of the details, but it’s a civil lawsuit, it’s
something that we obviously will look into,” Goodell said during an unrelated news conference (presumably, the news conference announcing that the Miami Dolphins have shaved off another piece of the team for a musician). “I’ve been in
touch with the Steelers about it,” Goodell added.
That said, we doubt that the league would take any action absent a criminal case. But it could get interesting if a jury eventually decides in a civil case that Roethlisberger did what the plaintiff claims that he did. Though the finding would be based on the lower legal standard of “preponderance of the evidence,” it would nevertheless constitute a legal conclusion that Roethlisberger committed a sexual assault.
In that situation, it might be very difficult for the league to do nothing.