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SI: Ben Roethlisberger Didn’t Wear Helmet Even After Motorcycle Crash

There’s a large profile of Ben Roethlisberger in the latest edition of Sports Illustrated. SI has already posted the article on their website and it really paints Big Ben’s character unfavorably, no surprise. Once you piss off enough people and lose public support, many of your worst stories start coming out and that appears to be the case with the NFL’s most notorious alleged sexual assaulter. Deadspin provided some excerpts in a preview of the article on Tuesday evening, and one of the nuggets they chose to highlight also stood out to me after reading the entire article. I feel this excerpt is a perfect reflection of Roethlisberger’s character and attitude and I urge you to read the entire thing. Here’s SI saying Roethlisberger didn’t wear a helmet even after his life-threatening motorcycle crash:

Roethlisberger was riding his black 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle, helmetless and without a permit, in downtown Pittsburgh when he collided with a Chrysler New Yorker. Roethlisberger hit the windshield, rolled over the roof of the car and struck the ground headfirst. He suffered a broken jaw and nose and underwent seven hours of surgery. “If I ever ride again,” he said afterward, “it certainly will be with a helmet.”

A few months after the accident, a reporter and a cameraman for KDKA-TV, the CBS affiliate that broadcasts Steelers games, were driving on I-376 in Pittsburgh when they saw two men on motorcycles and recognized one as Roethlisberger, who was not wearing a helmet. They began shooting footage, which showed Roethlisberger giving them the finger as he sped away, but the video never aired. The station’s news director at the time, John Verrilli, and its current assistant news director, Anne Linaberger, deny that any such tape existed, but several people who saw the video gave SI similar accounts of the tape; sources believe the story was killed out of fear that it would damage KDKA’s relationship with the Steelers. “If we had been the other affiliate [which doesn't broadcast the games],” says one of the people who saw the tape, “it would have been A-1 news.” (A neighbor who lives near Roethlisberger in a tony section of Gibsonia, Pa., but did not want to be named has also seen the quarterback on his motorcycle. “I’ve never seen him with a helmet,” the neighbor said.)

It’s too bad that video never got out because you’re assured Roethlisberger would have been admonished to wear a helmet and the Steelers would have faced a lot of pressure to ensure their quarterback changed his ways. In a nutshell, that story is emblematic of Roethlisberger’s arrogant and untouchable attitude that has gotten him into major legal trouble recently. Do we really expect Roethlisberger’s overall behavior to change now after reading this? To quote every athlete and coach around, he is what he is.

Sources:
The Hangover: Roethlisberger [SI/Jack McCallum]
Sports Illustrated Exposes Big Bad Ben [Deadspin]



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