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Rape, Fame and the Ass in the Superbowl

Posted on Feb 4, 2011 in Featured, Politics and Rants |

Rape, Fame and the Ass in the Superbowl

I can’t wrap my head around how the National Football League could allow a three-time rapist to star in the SuperBowl. I truly do not understand how the Steelers could employ a repeat rapist — I don’t care how badly you want to win, rapist belong in jail and in hell, not as the star of your football team.

I am a for second chances. I am a true believer in mistakes being catalysts for change and growth. Ben Roethlisberger has earned none of these chances. In the past seven years, he’s won two SuperBowl rings and raped three women — and those are only the women who have stepped forward. There are no chances left for this rapist — none. Go to hell and get off my TV.

It’s old news to hear of celebrities and sports stars getting special treatment, being allowed to return to play and work and lead teams (Hello, Charlie Sheen). People’s livelihood relies on big celebrities. One could argue that the Pittsburg Steelers wouldn’t have made it to the SuperBowl without Ben Roethlisberger. One could argue that he has done his time with league suspensions, slaps on the hand and a dropped third case. One could argue that how a guy throws a football has nothing to do with his misconduct off the field. One could argue the girls are drunks! are users! are seeking fame! But I am wondering why we continue to to find loopholes for men who rape women and then cheer them on to victory, Emmy awards and SuperBowl rings? [Don’t tell me about the fact he wasn’t convicted. Read the transcripts, the history, the court docs. The guy got off on technicalities and loopholes. That’s like saying OJ is innocent because he wasn’t convicted.]

I wonder what kind of courage it would take for players to refuse to play with a three-time rapist? I wonder how powerful and united a community could feel if it chose to tell its team they would not be fans of an organization that employed a three-time rapist. I wonder how defiance would feel by refusing to buy tickets to a football game to see a three-time rapist throw a ball. I wonder what kind of incredible grassroots support corporations would get if they refused to run ads during a game that is starring a three-time rapist. I wonder what kind of kudos, praise and viewership FOX would gain if they refused to air a game starring a three-time rapist.

It sounds like a pipe-dream, doesn’t it? But why? Why is it unreasonable to ask ourselves to be brave enough to stand against Ben Roethlisberger, the football player, the rapist? Why is it unreasonable to ask our sports teams to refuse employment to a man who forced his 250-pound-frame onto three separate women?

Ben Roethlisberger, the three-time rapist, will star in the biggest sporting event of the year this coming Sunday. He will be cheered and high-fived and will make millions this weekend, and, perhaps, another SuperBowl victory. And somewhere, the women he raped sit wondering why their courage is not matched by us.