According to former teammates, Big Ben wasn’t popular in locker room before scandal

Let the piling on Ben Roethlisberger begin.

ESPN’s Kelly Naqi recently did a story for “Outside the Lines” in which details emerged about Big Ben’s popularity (or lack thereof) among his Pittsburgh teammates. Two of his former teammates, Najeh Devenport and Mike Logan, were quoted in the story and what they had to say won’t help Roethlisberger fix his already damaged image.

From Yahoo!

• Davenport estimated that about 60 percent of the locker room felt like Roethlisberger thought he was “bigger than the team,” and not focused on winning.

• Davenport also discussed a time when Joey Porter(notes) called out Roethlisberger in a team meeting for being the last one in to practice and the first one to leave. Porter also accused Roethlisberger of not being dedicated to the team, and criticized him for not fraternizing with his teammates.

• Mike Logan confirmed the incident where Porter addressed Roethlisberger, and said that all the things Porter mentioned were already being talked about in the locker room.

• Someone identified only as “a close friend of a Steelers player” said that the reason Roethlisberger had a bodyguard was because of an incident where a man put a gun to Roethlisberger’s head because Roethlisberger was involved with the man’s girlfriend.

• Naqi spoke with people who work at Pittsburgh bars and nightclubs, and they described Ben as someone who was condescending to the staffs and rude to other customers. One bar owner said Roethlisberger always expected he and his entourage to be given free food and drinks.

I remember when news started to break left and right about Michael Vick’s involvement in dog fighting. One day he was being indicted, and the next came intimate details about how he had always spent money carelessly, was always mixed up with the wrong people and how the Falcons were always covering up for him. So this story about Roethlisberger isn’t shocking. In fact, it would have been more surprising if new details didn’t emerge about what a piece of crap he is.
Usually when a celebrity is down, that’s when it’s the perfect time to kick him. I’m not saying these new details aren’t true (how would I know either way?), but this story seems incredibly convenient. Everyone already thinks Roethlisberger is a slimy douche, so why not toss more fuel onto the fire? If he’s going to burn, let’s make him burn.

It’s all about timing. Had this story not come out on the tails of his latest sexual assault incident, then nobody would have cared. Either that, or we all would have written this off as just another athlete that thinks he’s above it and then we would have all quickly moved on.

Regardless, Big Ben has a lot of work ahead of him if he wants to change the way people perceive him. If it matters to him, then it sounds like he’s going to have to make wholesale changes immediately. And his former teammates aren’t making things easier on him, that’s for sure.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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