I’ve sat down at my computer many times trying to figure out how to write an article about Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. A woman named Andrea McNulty has accused him of raping her at a hotel in Lake Tahoe, California. McNulty said it happened over a year ago (July 10th) when Ben was in Tahoe for a golf tournament. She said Ben asked her to fix his TV and then he tackled her.
I am particularly troubled by this, so much that I have never had so much trouble writing something. I couldn’t sleep last night, particularly fascinated by this case. I haven’t really discussed it much, because when I first heard about it, I put it the back of my mind and ignored it. But it is something that can’t be ignored any longer.
Ben Roethlisberger is like a god to Steeler fans. He is the leader. The Bradshaw of the 2000s. Most Steelers fans own a Roethlisberger jersey, and if they don’t, they are probably thinking about getting one. He is worshiped. His rookie year, after Tommy Maddox was hurt, the season appeared to be over to most Steeler fans. Ben took the team to the playoffs and almost the Super Bowl. He’s still a relatively young guy and he’s already won two Super Bowls.
So, it’s really hard for me, a huge Steeler fan, to even think that Ben could or would do this to a woman. It’s pretty uncomfortable for me to discuss sexually assaulting a woman, especially someone that I really respect. I want to say he’s innocent, but it’s hard for me to stand beside him. I don’t even know him. I hope he’s innocent. I think he is, but I really don't know. I know if he played for the Browns, I’d automatically assume he was guilty, which is wrong.
Unfortunately for Ben and Steeler fans, they will probably not prove if Ben is innocent or not. How can they? It’s really his word versus her's. One of them is lying and we will never know which one. Even if he didn’t touch her, he probably can’t prove it. There will always be someone in the stands who thinks he’s a rapist just because McNulty said so. It’s like a bad tattoo of your ex’s name that doesn’t go away.
This could be bad news for Steeler fans. Imagine being accused of rape, whether innocent or not. This will occupy a huge part of his mind that should be focused on winning a third Super Bowl. It’s a distraction and it’s bad for the Steelers and their fans.
If Ben did do what McNulty said, I hope they book him. I hope he goes to jail for a very long time. I hope the league suspends him. After all, if Michael Vick gets suspended for dogfighting, Ben should get suspended for raping a woman. I will get rid of my jersey. I will lose all respect for him, because raping a woman is not okay, even if you are a football god.
I’m really hoping this is not the case. But if it is, all my time will go to worshiping Sidney Crosby. The police aren’t investigating this, which is good for Ben. They don’t believe
What I found odd is that it took a year for McNulty to press charges, suspiciously after Ben won the Super Bowl and right before training camp. She can get a lot of money from him. She also did not scream for help, but told him she wasn’t on birth control. Then, after he was finished, she went to the bathroom to straighten up. Not out of the hotel room for help, but to the bathroom. I’ve never been raped, but that’s not how I’d react if I was raped. Plus, there are nine co-defendants. Hmm …
She really has no evidence. Only her word which means nothing.
Well, never does his.
Now, TMZ has an interesting take on this. I usually don’t consider TMZ reliable, but it’s quite interesting. Apparently, a coworker told TMZ that in July 2008, McNulty was sleeping around with a married man. The wife made up a fake soldier in Iraq who began to contact McNulty. She fell in love with "the soldier" and told people they were engaged until “he” stopped talking to her. Then, she said that the soldier died and began seeing a psychiatrist.
Suing athletes is nothing new. Jerome Bettis was accused of rape and proven innocent. And there was the Kobe case. It’s kind of sad in a way, because I think athletes are easy targets.
McNulty is cutting into my post-Super Bowl celebration. But rape and sexual assault are serious allegations that need to be dealt as such, whether he’s innocent or not. If she’s right, Ben needs to serve his time. If she’s lying, she shouldn’t be wasting mine.