We noted this morning that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had said that players on the Steelers didn’t come to the defense of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger when Goodell was determining how to punish Roethlisberger over sexual assault allegations.
But Roethlisberger begs to differ.
“Well, I know for a fact that when the commissioner came to training camp to talk, a lot of the guys kind of did,” Roethlisberger said. “I’m just thankful that my teammates are who they are and I’m really appreciative of it.”
Roethlisberger hedged, however, when asked about Goodell’s specific claim that he talked to more than 20 Steelers and none went to bat for their quarterback.
“I’m not sure,” Roethlisberger said. “I wasn’t there. I don’t know exactly what was said, so it’s hard to say.”
Steelers linebacker James Farrior, however, said it’s simply not true for Goodell to claim that no one on the Steelers went to bat for Roethlisberger.
“I was highly upset about the whole situation,” Farrior said. “When Roger Goodell came to us in the preseason, I think I was the guy that asked him a lot of the questions about Ben. I was pretty upset about it. I really didn’t get any answers from him that I was looking for, but I was definitely disappointed in what the verdict was and how they proceeded. I definitely didn’t think he should be suspended four games.”
So Goodell and Farrior clearly remember their conversation very differently. We’ll surely hear from several other Steelers this week who will offer their own recollections of their discussions with Goodell before the season. And we have a feeling that several more Steelers will say they were supportive of Roethlisberger.