In his first public comments regarding the sexual assault allegations made against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he’ll be meeting with Roethlisberger “at the appropriate time.”
Goodell prefaced this remark with an ominous comment regarding the overall situation: “The most important thing is we take the issue seriously. We are concerned that Ben continues to put himself in this position.”
In other words, regardless of whether Roethlisberger is charged, the fact that he now has been twice accused of sexual assault has gotten the league’s attention.
It makes sense. Goodell addressed the problem of repeat allegations in January 2009, prior to Super Bowl XLIII. “You can have false accusations once, maybe twice,” Goodell said in reference to former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress. “When you start getting
to multiple [arrests], you’re putting yourself in the wrong position,
you’re making the wrong decisions in the wrong places. At that point
in time, you’re reflecting poorly on the NFL itself, your teammates.”
So, basically, Roethlisberger is running out of chances. And one more accusation — true or false — could be enough to dramatically impact his career in a negative way.