NFL needs to avoid double standard
Only way to do that is suspending Ben Roethlisberger like they did Pacman Jones and Michael Vick
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Contributing Writer
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Adam “Pacman” Jones for an entire season because of multiple charges against him. But when Goodell laid out the punishment Jones had not been convicted of any crime.
Michael Vick was suspended indefinably before he pleaded guilty to funding an illegal gambling ring that including dog fighting. When Vick was suspended he was simply charged, but had not gone to trial.
Now two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is the face of one of the league’s premiere teams, has two sexual assault cases pending.
The first case dates back to June of 2008 when a woman accused Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her in a Lake Tahoe hotel room. The woman did not file a criminal complaint, but rather a civil suit for $440,000, and no physical evidence was collected, making her accusation seem hard to believe.
That story was swept under the rug because it did not seem believable, but now Roethlisberger has been accused by a second woman. This case seems to have him very worried because he hired Ed Garland, who is a big time defense attorney. Garland previously represented Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis in a murder case and rapper T.I. on a federal weapons charge.
The woman, a 20-year-old college student, reported the assault after an encounter with Roethlisberger at a nightclub in central Georgia.
Roethlisberger has been known as a big time party guy, just like Pacman Jones and Vick. A simple Internet search will lead to a number of photos of Roethlisberger “partying like a champion.” One photo shows him drinking heavily with a shirt that says “drink like a champion today.”
The NFL has made major attempts to clean up their image over the past few years, with a number of players getting hefty punishments without being convicted of anything. Will there be a double standard, or will Roethlisberger get similar punishment for misbehaving and putting the NFL in a bad light?