Home / Culture and Society / The Roethlisberger Sexual Assault Allegations: Reactions From A Steelers Fan

The Roethlisberger Sexual Assault Allegations: Reactions From A Steelers Fan

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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 McNutty McNulty.

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.

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About Maddy

  • Des

    Maddy, please don’t tell us you’ve never been raped but know how you’d react if you were. You don’t. On the other hand, I have been raped and McNulty’s story makes no sense to me either. I’ve read her complaint and she spends more time ranting about her coworkers than describing the supposed assault. According to her own description of events, she had no bruises, her clothing wasn’t torn. The only possible “evidence” she might have would be semen stains on her clothes and that’s only evidence of a sexual encounter–which Ben hasn’t denied–not rape. So what kind of evidence could they have erased from her computer? She didn’t go to the cops to report the alledged assault because she was afraid she’d be fired. But she wasn’t afraid she’d be fired for suing her own bosses?

    James P., her lawyer is successful–that doesn’t mean all his clients are truthful. He sees a chance for a big payoff because most people settle these kinds of cases rather than let them drag on.

    Kyda, the behavior you describe would prove Ben is a jackass, not a sociopath. Just because someone acts like a jerk does not make him a violent criminal. Serial killer Ted Bundy was a real charmer. You can’t always spot evil that easily.

    Like Maddy says, we’ll never know what happened in that room. Based on my own experiences with rape victims, I believe Ben. But I don’t love him for who he is as a person. I love him for what he does on the field.

  • Tony

    That this is only a civil suit is the single most important fact here. If there was a credible chance that a criminal act had been committed the DA would be all over this. I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure 1 year is within the statute of limiations for rape. Ben might not match the idealist vision some have built for him (not really sure where that came from) but the jump from ass hole to rapist is pretty big.

  • 1) assuming that he did rape her, how does that make him less of a capitan in your eyes? Do you worship him for his persona, or for his actions on the field?
    2) needs some reediting, some big issues throughout
    3) if it were a rape, she would report it right away
    4) there is evidence, the video tape of the hall, we can see how she looked and judge from that
    5) Crosby, you would worship that crybaby?

  • kyda

    Ben Rothlisberger is a genuine sociopath. I have female friends that were personally groped by Ben in southside bars. I witnessed one incident, it was absolutely unbelievable! I also met him on several occasions (I used to valet his car at a restaurant on the southside) and I found him to be a huge fucking jerk every time. Never tipped. Once when I asked him for an autograph for my girlfriend’s little brother, he said “Shouldn’t you be getting my fucking car?” HE DID IT! I HAVE NO DOUBT! That being said, I’m a huge Steeler fan and I still want him to play, regardless of the accusations hahaha

    p.s. Belittling the victim is absolutely vile. You are no better than a rapist [gratuitous vulgarity deleted].

  • SteelerChick

    Also, I’m just plain angry that this story won’t leave the press or people’s minds. Let’s get on with it and do what Ben is doing–let the legal system play it out. ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!

  • SteelerChick

    I’m torn between jaxon’s and james’ comments… leaning more toward jaxon. Agree Ben will definitely use this to fuel his competitive nature to win. Agree that the woman is a loser. Agree that the whole situation is ugly no matter how it turns out.

  • James P.

    Good article and reasonable sentiments, which I share. After thinking this matter over, I feel less hopeful that I did…concerning human nature. Could Ben have actually done this? Let’s hope not. On the other hand, a backroom shyster has not taken up the woman’s case. She has one of Nevada’s most high-profile lawyers. Unless he felt he expected to win the case, I wonder whether he’d risk his reputation by acception it. Moreover, we assume the case will become “his word against hers.” What if her lawyer knows something we don’t…like a maid walked by the room in question and heard incriminating sounds.

    If her lawyer has no case (against Ben) but took it anyway in order to squeeze him for cash, it’s ugly. If she made it up or twisted a consential encounter for revenge or cash, it’s ugly. If he did it, it’s ugly. Anyway you cut it, the affair can’t help by revealing if not the worst in human nature, certainly one of its uglier traits.

  • tob the hiking mofo

    Give us tort reform. If the girl is a lying, gold digging so and so, she should pay damages for all the distraction. How much does Ben’s contract pay by the hour, and how many hours go into false defense?

  • Anne

    the accuser appears to be delusional, I believe that he’s totally innocent

  • jaxson

    OMG….you just wasted so much cyberspace that it is ridiculous!

    First off, she filed it a year after the fact and only a Civil Suit, meaning that she just wants the money. If she was really raped don’t you think she would have filed a criminal complaint….a friggin year ago? Secondly, no guy is going to ask a woman to repair his television. LOL. Thirdly, she knows that football season is about to begin and Ben and the Steelers have better things to worry about and could probably afford to throw a couple of hundred thousand her way to be done with it.

    She is a pathetic loser.

  • Chris

    If this lady’s story was true she could have easily quit her job, collected unemployment and looked for a new job. Then she could have gone to the police to report the rape and found a lawyer. I can understand why so many people think this will hinder Ben or the Steelers in the near future. However, this is not a criminal case so Ben can’t serve jail time even if it is true (but it’s obviously not). I think Ben will have more motivation when he steps on the field. He will be re-directing those emotions of being terribly wronged to kicking some butt!

  • This is why you can never really know an athlete, no matter how much he smiles on camera or how genuine he “seems.” Even meeting him for five minutes is never enough. You can only respect his work on the field and take it for as many grains of salt as you possess in your hourglass.