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Author Topic: ESPN Reporting 4-6 games for Ben  (Read 3093 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #30 on: Apr 21, 2010 at 14:37 »

I disagree, I really think Ben deserved this suspension. This isn't the first time he has shown bad judgment, and he really is making the NFL and the Steelers look bad. As I said on another thread, he is one of five people on the entire planet that does what he does, at the level that he does. He's held at a higher standard on the football field, why not off of it too? He fucked up, and he should be punished for it. What a lot of people seem to have a problem with is him being suspended even though he was never charged or convicted of any crimes. Well, maybe he was never charged, however he did violate the NFL's personal conduct policy. I don't think there is any argument there, and that is why he's being suspended.


So basically he's guilty of making the "brand" look bad.  I get that.  If Bettis had been spuriously accused of sexual assault a second time, we'd have wanted him suspended as well, fine.  Because, as the fifth-leading rusher of all time, he should have known better than to get himself accused of anything like that.  Lucky for him, the other shoe never dropped.

I have a major argument with the personal conduct policy.  It's vague, arbitrary, and has no recourse for appeal.  I also think Goodell is a fucking weasel.


Ben fucked up, by being successful, and by doing what 75% of the NFL does, and 0% of the rest of the NFL gets punished for.  Seems fair.
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« Reply #31 on: Apr 21, 2010 at 14:44 »

Hey, since Vick's "suspension" was basically commuted to time served, why doesn't Rog do the same for Ben? 
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« Reply #32 on: Apr 21, 2010 at 14:46 »

I don't care if he did it or not, I'm just saying he's Ben fucking Roethlisburger. Don't be fuckin' around with a 20 year old college hooker in a soiled employee bathroom at some shitty nightclub in Bumfuck, Georgia. Yeah, 75% of the rest of the league might do that shit too, but that doesn't make it okay. My argument is that Ben is a top five NFL QB, and he needs to start acting like one off the field. If you want to go out, fine. If you want to get laid, fine. Just be fucking smart about it. That's all I'm saying.
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« Reply #33 on: Apr 21, 2010 at 14:57 »

Personal Conduct Policy...is this "policy" written down somewhere?  Is Roger making it up as he goes?  I would be pissed if I was Ben...sure he is held to a higher standard, but who determines the standard?  

Tiger Woods sleep with dozens of woman...was he suspended...even in the court of public opinion?

So I guess you have to live like a monk to be in the NFL.


I suppose the suspensions for the follwoing players are yet to come
Apr 12, 2010
Seahawks' LineBacker Leroy Hill arrested, accused of assaulting girlfriend

April 1, 2010
Cleveland Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers was arrested Thursday at Hopkins International Airport for having a loaded gun in his carry-on luggage.

April 1, 2010
Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill pleaded guilty to a charge of marijuana possession Thursday and will serve 12 months of probation.

March 29, 2010
Dolphins/Cardinals Linebacker Joey Porter was arrested early Saturday morning in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant in Bakersfield.

March 27, 2010
Bears offensive lineman Lance Louis pled guilty Friday to misdemeanor battery.


Thursday.

March 22, 2010
Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown, who had been in the suburban Atlanta area to help celebrate his parents' anniversary, was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol and released from jail a few hours later, officials said Monday.

March 13, 2010
Packers TE Spencer Havner is arrested for DUI.

March 1, 2010
A judge on Monday dismissed charges of simple assault and resisting arrest against Steelers kicker Jeff Reed, who was accused of raising his fists at a Pittsburgh police officer when ordered back in his vehicle as police dealt with a teammate.

February 20, 2010
Redskins cornerback Byron Westbrook was arrested in Maryland early Friday morning on several charges related to driving under the influence of alcohol.

February 7, 2010
Officials say Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Tony McDaniel is out of jail after being arrested and accused of domestic violence.

January 29, 2010
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Maualuga charged with DUI

January 19, 2010
Washington Redskins guard Chad Rinehart has been arrested on public intoxication charges in Iowa after he pulled on a locked door at a pizza restaurant

January 17, 2010
Chargers WR Vincent Jackson is arrested for driving with a suspended license.

January 17, 2010
Chicago Bears defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek was arrested in Norman, Okla., on Saturday after an altercation at a bar, according to multiple media reports

January 28, 2010
The Rams released a statement Thursday acknowledging news that the mother of Steven Jackson's child has accused the running back of beating her days before their son was born.

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« Reply #34 on: Apr 21, 2010 at 14:58 »

http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2010/04/21/roger-goodell-nfls-solomon-attempts-to-split-the-baby/


Welcome to Roger Goodell's NFL, where you can be suspended from football without being arrested or charged with a crime.

Whether you agree with the NFL's suspension of Ben Roethlisberger, it's important to realize what an unbelievable expansion the NFL has now undertaken into the private lives of its players. Never before has a player been suspended from a league for something that is entirely of a private nature. Sure, we've had suspensions for gambling, drug use, utilization of banned substances that increase athlete potential, but never before has a player been suspended without being arrested or charged with a crime.

And as the 21st century progresses, with the rise of new media and the alacrity with which media reports can damn athletes no matter their guilt or innocence, the NFL may have won the public relations battle while losing the war. Because, guess what, this won't be the last time that a prominent football player is accused of a seamy crime. And this won't be the last time that Roger Goodell, the NFL's own Solomon, sits in a high court of sports justice.

As anyone who has ever practiced criminal law knows, guilt or innocence is rarely a bright line rule; the criminal court dwells in a constant sea of gray, uncertain testimony, questionable motives, witnesses who aren't completely truthful, a jumble of uncertainty, the whirlwind of conflicting stories.

That's why our court system requires that someone be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before we punish them. As a country, we'd rather see 1000 guilty men go free than unjustly imprison one person for a crime he didn't commit. That's just what we believe.

You or I can read the Big Ben police report and the pre-existing civil complaint filed in Nevada and draw our own conclusions. Personally, I believe that Ben Roethlisberger is likely a rapist. But that hasn't been proven beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of Big Ben's peers. Moreover, that personal belief doesn't change my opinion of what the NFL has to do in the absence of a player being arrested or charged with a crime.

Nothing.

Not one damn thing.

Why?

Because it's not the NFL's job to determine guilt or innocence in criminal matters.

And if you value the judicial process one iota, if you value the ability of a player to defend himself in a court of law, and, perhaps most importantly, believe that the media doesn't determine whether someone is guilty or not, then you have to repudiate the NFL's decision to expand the bounds of sports justice and suspend a player for an entirely off-the-field action that led neither to an arrest nor charges being filed.

Because what we've really learned from the Ben Roethlisberger complaint is that if you are publicly accused of a bad enough crime, regardless of whether you're guilty or innocent, you're deserving of punishment in Roger Goodell's NFL. That's what the NFL has done today. Something that the NBA, Major League Baseball, and the NHL never have before, opened up the private lives of their players and made them subject to punishment for an act that clearly doesn't implicate the on-field play.

George Orwell's 1984?

Welcome to the NFL's 2010.

In making its decision the NFL has proven that guilt, innocence, due process, and reasonable doubt are trite and trivial terms. Of course, the league's correct, those are terms that belong in a democracy. But, as we all see now, the NFL is not a democracy, it's a dictatorship, run by one man who would be Emperor. What the NFL is concerned with is neither guilt nor innocence, it's the appearance of guilt or innocence.

At least we can all rest assured that no one is ever charged with a crime they didn't commit.

Oh, except for situations like the Duke lacrosse case. Only the Duke lacrosse case has something that Ben Roethlisberger's case never had -- actual charges filed by a district attorney.

Let's dive in here and take a look at what the NFL has taught us with today's ruling.

1. The NFL's new standard for guilt or innocence?

Even after three years of the personal conduct policy, we still don't have a clue.

It really just depends on the infallible hand of justice wielded by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

But is any man infallible, truly capable of the wisdom of Solomon?

Goodell believes he is, that's the only lesson we can glean from his actions.

Of course, life teaches us otherwise.

And that's what is most scary about this punishment. The vast majority of fans and media will applaud this decision, further emboldening the commissioner to take more expansive powers to mete "justice." Eventually, if they haven't already, those powers are going to lead to gross injustice and the NFL's continued bastardization of the American criminal justice process.

Just wait.

2. What penalties will you face for violating the personal conduct policy?

Because if you're going to be punished, we as a society, believe that you should be aware of what punishments you're going to face for a particular act.

That's only fair for NFL players too, right?

Here's a rough synopsis of the NFL's personal conduct penalties:

a. Engage in dog-fighting

two additional games after a year in prison

b. Sexually assault someone in the opinion of the commissioner

four games (six if you don't seem contrite enough)

c. Make it rain in a Las Vegas strip club (among other misdemeanors)

full season

d. Have lots of illegal weapons in your house

8 games

e. Engage in a series of dumb misdemeanors and small-time felonies in the Cincinnati suburbs

8 games

f. Kill a man while driving drunk

full season

Looking at this roster of personal conduct punishments levied by the NFL, do you really have any clue what the suspensions facing a particular player for a particular incident are going to be?

Doesn't that mean that the personal conduct policy is arbitrary, inconsistent, and unfair?

Of course, it does. But as has been demonstrated, the goal of the policy isn't to be any of these things, it's merely to combat perceptions that the NFL players aren't well-behaved. Guilt or innocence, as the policy itself states, is immaterial.

3. We've entered a radical new era in pro sports where one man can unilaterally decide that your off-field actions are immoral and that he's going to suspend you for them even if you aren't arrested or charged.

Then, if you disagree with his judging of your morals, he gets to hear your appeal!

Is no one else troubled by this?

How can the NFL Player's Association continue to take these punishments without raising one iota of defense for the members of its union? How can anyone countenance a private league poring through the personal minutiae of someone's private life?

Again, if you don't realize how radical the NFL's position is, look at what happened when Kobe Bryant was charged with sexual assault in Colorado. The NBA waited for the court system to act, the victim eventually chose not to testify, the case was dismissed, and the league issued no punishment.

How could they?

Bryant wasn't judged guilty of anything.

Compare Kobe's treatment to Ben Roethlisberger's. Roethlisberger wasn't even charged with a crime.

The difference?

The NBA allowed the justice system to do its job, it didn't try to become the justice system. The NFL, on the other hand, believes that it is above the American justice system.

4. Where does an NFL athlete's private life actually begin now?

All we know is that now it's somewhere short of actually being charged with a crime. There's a morals police now.

Earlier this week, I asked if failing to make child support payments wasn't deserving of league censure? What about fathering multiple children by multiple women out of wedlock?

Where do you draw the line on private morality as it relates to football eligibility?

And now that Ben Roethlisberger has been suspended for a purely private act that ended in neither arrest nor charges being filed, when does an NFL player become a private citizen?

Put plainly, we have no clue.

Just that every NFL player has a lot less privacy today than they had yesterday.

5. Finally, is no one else troubled by the NFL saying sexual assault is a four-game punishment?

Because that's what they're basically saying, right? This is the mess the NBA avoided by not punishing Kobe Bryant.

The NFL Court of Justice has rendered its verdict and, to me, it seems that four games actually devalues the woman's charges more than no NFL action at all.

Because, as a woman, do you really want to believe that the NFL considers sexual assault to be commensurate with a four-game suspension? That is, if the league truly believes that Ben Roethlisberger committed a crime, isn't it sending an incredibly awful message by suspending him for just four games?

Look out for the hard hand of NFL justice, next thing you know someone is going to miss eight entire games, that's half the season!, for blowing up an airplane.

After all, even after this punishment, Big Ben still gets to play in the other 10 or 12 NFL games.

And if, as I'm sure the NFL will allege, they are penalizing Roethlisberger not for the act but merely for the devaluing of their brand, that's even more laughable.

What am I getting at?

The NFL can't actually win this public relations mess.

All we know for certain after this punishment in the absence of either an arrest or a criminal charge is that it's open season on NFL athlete allegations.

So let me start.

Hey, look, I just saw Peyton Manning cheating on his taxes.

How many games is that worth Emperor Goodell?
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« Reply #35 on: Apr 21, 2010 at 15:08 »

http://ludwig.squarespace.com/politics-journal/2010/4/15/the-media-lynching-of-ben-roethlisberger.html

The Media Lynching of Ben Roethlisberger
[This post is now updated to include the Post Gazette's "botched investigation" story, which is slanted both against Roethlisberger and the truth.]

When the media received the investigation file in the Ben Roethlisberger case, it acted irresponsibly. It selectively reported allegations for which no probable cause to arrest existed. It gave the public a skewed understanding of the facts. There are plenty reasons to criticize Roethlisberger, but not for "rape." Here are the documented facts:

CHRONOLOGY:

1. The DA indicated that both parties were exchanging sexual comments toward each other (that he would not repeat in public, because of their graphic nature).   He said, "it was a two-way street ... -- him to her, her to him -- [it was] of a sexual nature."  (DA press conference, PART-4, at 7:35, http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/index.html [also at: District Attorney News Conference On Ben Roethlisberger, Part 4]).   

2. The accuser and her sorority sisters were wearing stickers that "had 'DTF' written on the bottom of the name tag ... [which] stood for 'down to fuck.'" (See Page 4 of 6 of police report, exhibit 16. http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2010/0415101roethlisberger15.html)

3. The accuser also said to Willie Colon, "You know my nickname?" -- and then answered by saying "DTF." When Colon asked what that meant, the accuser replied , "Down to fuck." (See Colon's police statement here: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2010/0416103willie2.html)

4. The accuser "repeatedly attempted to get Roethlisberger's attention, including pinching him" ... and pestering Willie Colon to talk to Ben for them. (See Colon's police statement:  http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2010/0416103willie2.html)

5. The accuser was heavily intoxicated. [numerous sources].

6. The accuser was led down a hall toward a bathroom. (DA News Conference, PART-1, at 3:10. http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/index.html [also at: District Attorney News Conference On Ben Roethlisberger, Part 1]).

7. There was a stool outside the bathroom. The club manager, Duncan, told police that he saw "a young lady sitting outside of the stool, talking to Ben." (Duncan's Statement is quoted by CNN here: http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/04/16/roethlisberger.incident/index.html)

8. The accuser was sitting on the stool talking with Ben for a little while. Duncan says, "... at last glance the [accuser] was still sitting outside the bathroom talking to Ben. That was the last I noticed of the situation." (Duncan's Statement is quoted by CNN here: http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/04/16/roethlisberger.incident/index.html)

9. The bathroom had cramped quarters -- less than 5 foot wide single-commode bathroom. (DA News Conference, PART-1 http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/index.html [also at: District Attorney News Conference On Ben Roethlisberger, Part 1])

10. According to a police statement: "Roethlisberger explained to Aurila that nothing had happened and that Roethlisberger was in the back with a girl and they were "messing around." Roethlsberger then explained that the girl slipped and he helped her up and then came back out. Aurila stated that he took "messing around" to mean" kissing, whatever. ... Roethlisberger indicated to Aurila that the girl had slipped and that he had helped her up and once Roethlisberger had helped her up he told the girl that they were not going to continue. ... During the conversation, Aurila described Roethlisberger's demeanor as angry and shocked that this [the accusation] was happening." (Police report, pg. 5 of 7, http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2010/0415101roethlisberger19.html)

11. The accuser had a "superficial laceration" in the genital area, described by DA [and medical authorities] as consistent with having sex. (Or slipping while having it?). (DA press conference, PART-1 at 3:50. http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/index.html [also at: District Attorney News Conference On Ben Roethlisberger, Part 1]).

12. THE SORORITY SISTERS STARTED THE INITIAL COMMOTION. They felt the accuser was too drunk to be fraternizing with Roethlisberger. So they acted based upon that judgment. The facts are:

(A) The sorority sisters complained to the club manager that Ben and accuser were together in the locked bathroom. (citation forthcoming)

(B) The sorority sisters are the ones who complained to police and said it was a "rape." From the DA conference: "The Sorority Sisters were doing the talking [making the accusation]." (See DA press conference, PART-2, starts 2:42 and key part at about 3:10 and 4:00:  http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/index.html [also at: District Attorney News Conference On Ben Roethlisberger, Part 2]) (See also, DA interview, PART-3, 10:20 http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/index.html [also at: District Attorney News Conference On Ben Roethlisberger, Part 3]).

(C) The officer at the scene was perturbed by the fact that the sisters were doing the talking. Post-Gazette: "The victim's friends got on Blash's Nerves because he kept asking them were they back there with her, and they said no. The victim's friends were trying to tell what was going on more than the victim was, and the victim could not answer Blash's questions."

13. THE ACCUSER HERSELF WAS UNCERTAIN ABOUT THE MATTER. When the officer on the spot said "I need to talk to the alleged victim, not [the sorority sisters]," he asked the accuser if Roethlisberger had raped her. She said:

(A). "No."   (DA news conference; PART 2, starts  2:42, key point: about 4:10:  http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/index.html [also at: District Attorney News Conference On Ben Roethlisberger, Part 2])

(B) When asked if the two had sex, she said "well, I'm not sure." (DA interview, PART 2, starts  2:42, key point: about 4:20:  http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/index.html [also at: District Attorney News Conference On Ben Roethlisberger, Part 2]).


(Blash also said she seemed inebriated, incoherent, "nonchalant," and at times seemed to to want to tell someone that "y'all did whatever.")

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2010/0415101roethlisberger3.html)

(F) At the hospital that night, she said "a boy kinda raped me." (DA press conference, PART-2 at 6:00. http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/index.html [also at: District Attorney News Conference On Ben Roethlisberger, Part 2]).

13. THE ACCUSER'S NEXT-DAY STATEMENT OFFERED A CHANGED STORY. The next day, this is what the accuser said:

(A). "His bodyguard came and took my arm and said come with me, he escorted me into a side door/hallway, and sat me on a stool. He left and Ben came back with his penis out of his pants. I told him it wasn't OK, no, we don't need to do this and I proceeded to get up and try to leave. I went to the first door I saw, which happened to be a bathroom. He followed me into the bathroom and shut the door behind him. I still said no, this is not OK, and he then had sex with me. He said it was OK. He then left without saying anything." (See DA press conference, PART-2 5:25. http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/index.html [also at: District Attorney News Conference On Ben Roethlisberger, Part 2]).(See also, CNN account of accuser's statement: http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/04/16/roethlisberger.incident/?hpt=Sbin).

[Note several things. 1. This latest version of events suggested that Ben is commencing activities OUTSIDE the bathroom. This contradicts the eyewitness claims that: (a) she was seen talking with Ben at the stool outside the bathroom for a period of time (See bar manager's statement); and (b) that no evidence of sex outside the bathroom exists. No one in the VIP area of any entourage or any body guard saw anything like that. (See: DA CONFERENCE, PART-3, starting at 8:30. http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/index.html [also at: District Attorney News Conference On Ben Roethlisberger, Part 3]).
Finally, note that this new version of events selectively fixes the accuser's earlier statements. It fixes the rape-denial and equivocation she expressed about the encounter while retaining other things as accurate (e.g., "he said it was okay.").  In other words, what helps her is retained, and what doesn't is not.

14. THE ACCUSER BACKED OFF SOON AFTERWARD. Soon after giving the next-day statement, the accuser began frustrating police. She did the following:

(A) From the Post Gazette: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation had trouble contacting "both the accuser and her lawyer, who did not return numerous calls from the agency" ... "Special Agent Monica Ling, the lead investigator, tried to reach the accuser 'numerous times' over the weekend of the alleged assault without success. Lee Parks, the woman's lawyer, finally called on the evening of March 7. Agent Ling said she wanted to take swabs from inside the woman's cheeks. Agent Ling reported having trouble reaching Mr. Parks the next week," and was eventually told the accuser could not help at this time.

(B) On March 17th, through her attorney's letter, the accuser says she doesn't want to go forward with it.

(C) When investigators had met with the woman, they were told unequivocally that the accuser did not want to go forward with the case. (soruce: Post Gazette)

[One should note that the vast majority of civil plaintiffs would want criminal cases going on concurrently. Any lawyer will tell you that a civil plaintiff is helped by a criminal case going first. One must assume that the accuser's reluctance here indicates one of two things: (a) the civil matter was already on a quick course of settlement; or (b) depositions and other matters may have rendered the next-day's position problematic. It is true that media frenzy and privacy are good reasons not to pursue things. But is this true if you have been wronged and can receive a major damage award? Or is it true if you have a drunken encounter and regret it? How many people get raped by millionaires and don't want to pursue even a civil case? And how many want to pursue one without pursuing a criminal case (the former helps the latter)?].     

13. Both the DA and the police believe not only that there was not enough proof to win their case, but that THERE WAS NOT EVEN PROBABLE CAUSE TO ARREST. Think about that. Law enforcement officials think that the sorority-girls version of events isn't even worthy of an arrest. (See DA News Conference, PART-1 12:00. http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/index.html [also at: District Attorney News Conference On Ben Roethlisberger, Part 1
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« Reply #36 on: Apr 21, 2010 at 15:26 »

Great post.

One of the less-discussed matters here is that the STATE, having concluded that they could not press charges, had their DA give a press conference that slammed the accused.

Forget Ben for a minute. Should the government have this power? They can't accuse me of something but they can go out there and ruin my good name from behind the official seal of the DA's office?

That's really not right. If they have a case, bring it. If they don't, shut the fuck up. I wonder whether Ben has a potential libel case here.
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« Reply #37 on: Apr 21, 2010 at 15:27 »

I would file a libel claim if I was him.
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« Reply #38 on: Apr 21, 2010 at 15:30 »

Great post.

One of the less-discussed matters here is that the STATE, having concluded that they could not press charges, had their DA give a press conference that slammed the accused.

Forget Ben for a minute. Should the government have this power? They can't accuse me of something but they can go out there and ruin my good name from behind the official seal of the DA's office?

That's really not right. If they have a case, bring it. If they don't, shut the fuck up. I wonder whether Ben has a potential libel case here.

I was really bothered by the fact that the DA kept referring to the accuser as "the victim" during his press conference.  What a crock of shit.

I'd think if Ben did have legal recourse for libel he probably would have gone there already.
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« Reply #39 on: Apr 21, 2010 at 16:41 »

Well, it's interesting to see all the liberal justice advocates crawl out of the woodwork in defense of Ben. 

Fact of the matter is, Goodell is the boss, supported by ownership.  I am only sure of one thing here, and that is, if I did what Ben did, I would damn sure be out of a job.

And don't think this hasn't been tough on me, too.  I've had to stop my habit of walking into class with the little professor hanging out!
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