Banks calls out Big Ben for his decision making

Don Banks of put together a well-written article on Ben Roethlisberger’s decision-making in light of the most recent allegations that he sexually assaulted a 20-year-old woman in Georgia last weekend.

But with that out of the way, here’s what I think we do know about Roethlisberger at this point: At the very least, he’s starting to look very guilty of serial bad judgment. He doesn’t seem to know what’s good for him, and he clearly doesn’t respect the notion that there are boundaries of where he should be, when he should be there, and who he should be with.

If I’m Roethlisberger, who’s still facing last year’s civil suit alleging he sexually assaulted a Lake Tahoe, Nev., casino hostess in the summer of 2008, that means I’m swearing off hanging out in college-town bars until 2 a.m., making the frat-boy rounds with my entourage. Engaging groups of college-age women while out partying isn’t helpful either. Quite a sacrifice, I know, but, hey, there is a pretty fair career to think of in this case. Not to mention a reputation that is rapidly approaching the state of being irreparably damaged.

I don’t know exactly when a pattern of behavior shows itself to the point of becoming obvious, but I think by now it’s safe to say Roethlisberger either doesn’t get it or doesn’t care. You think it can’t all go away pretty quickly in a hail of bad decision-making, Ben? Talk to Michael Vick about that one. One day he was practically the young and fresh face of the NFL, and the next time we looked, he was the poster child for wasted opportunity.

When you add Roethlisberger’s 2006 helmet-less motorcycle accident into the mix of questionable decision-making, this is the third offseason in five years the Pittsburgh quarterback has made the wrong kind of headlines and given us reason to question his thinking, his actions, or both. That’s at least twice too many for any player, but particularly for one who carries the mantle of franchise quarterback for one of the most successful and beloved organizations in the NFL.

You’ll have to read the entire article in order to grasp Banks’ full take on the subject, but the above four paragraphs summed up his basic premise.

I’m always torn on a subject like this. If Big Ben is guilty of wrongdoing, then let the legal system punish him and then the media can take its turn in frying him as well. But if all he’s done is go out to a bar, drink and then tried to get busy with a woman in a bathroom, then he’s hardly out of line. We don’t know what happened that night and whether or not this girl is trying to get a free ride. Were they flirting together? Did she invite him into the bathroom? Who knows. This same situation probably happens nightly but because it’s Roethlisberger, his life is being plastered all over the Internet. (Again though, if he was being a creep bag and did sexually assault her, then I hope he’s punished.)

That said, athletes live in a different world because of their money and stature. I realize this might not be fair, but not all of us have the ability or opportunity to make $50 million over our lifetimes either. So I agree with Banks when he writes that Big Ben needs to make better decisions in order to protect his reputation while he’s still playing in the NFL – especially considering this is the second time he’s been accused of sexual assault. I’m not suggesting that he doesn’t go out and have a good time (and neither is Banks), but he needs to realize that because of who he is, he runs the risk of having his actions made public. That’s just the way it is nowadays.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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