In an eye-opening segment on Sunday morning’s Outside the Lines, the network that initially ignored for multiple days the first allegations of sexual assault against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, several intriguing facts and contentions emerged.
For starters, the report focused on a claim Roethlisberger made to ESPN The Magazine a couple of years ago that he decided to hire bodyguards after someone pulled a gun on him. A friend of a teammate, speaking with the 60 Minutes-style darkened face and altered voice, said that one of Roethlisberger’s bodyguards explained that the gun was pulled by the boyfriend of a girl to whom Roethlisberger was talking outside a bar.
Meanwhile, former Steelers running back Najeh Davenport and former Steelers safety Mike Logan talked about an incident that occurred in the locker room in the season after the team’s victory in Super Bowl XL. Linebacker Joey Porter, in a speech that Davenport described as “powerful” (like, we suppose, the odor from an uncontained turd in a clothes hamper), called Ben out for doing his own thing and going his own way — and for being the last guy to arrive at work and the first one to leave.
ESPN’s Kelly Naqi also did some sleuthing as to one of the most common local complaints regarding Roethlisberger: that he behaves like an ass in public. Citing workers at local establishments who requested anonymity, Naqi reported that Roethlisberger has a reputation for being “demanding and condescending” to staff, and “rude” to customers.
So as the Steelers, unable to get what they wanted via trade, now forced to try to rehab the situation, it looks like they’ve got their work cut out for them, both in the locker room and beyond.