Roethlisberger Is Facing Fallout For His Behavior

2017-04-19 12:36

A Pittsburgh-based company, PLB Sports, that marketed Big Ben Beef Jerky ? and made a sensation of Flutie Flakes ? ended its five-year business relationship with Roethlisberger on Tuesday. The owner of the company, Ty Ballou, said he made the decision after hearing the lurid details of Roethlisberger’s encounter with the woman, which were revealed by a Georgia district attorney Monday. Roethlisberger was not charged with sexual assault.
Ballou has worked with players like Doug Flutie, Terrell Owens, Hines Ward, Jerome Bettis and Dustin Pedroia, and it was the first time in 14 years that he ended such a relationship. Ballou would not disclose how much money Roethlisberger earned annually from the deal, although he said it was not in six figures. According to Sports Illustrated’s “Fortunate 50” list of highly paid athletes, Roethlisberger earned $2.5 million in endorsements in 2009.
“I’m a father and as a father I hope the lesson is learned by Ben,” Ballou said in a telephone interview. “I can’t imagine anyone touching Ben Roethlisberger. Enough is enough. I hope there is a suspension. At some point in time, Ben has got to put himself in the right position and understand what it means to be a celebrity, a quarterback, a Steelers player.”
The N.F.L. and the Steelers are expected to review Roethlisberger’s case and decide on a punishment, perhaps a multigame suspension. Roethlisberger’s lawyer, David Cornwell, who accompanied Roethlisberger to his meeting with Goodell, declined to comment on PLB Sports’s severing ties with Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger, his image tattered and his immediate playing future in doubt, apologized Monday night in a statement he read from the Steelers’ locker room. Notably absent were top Steelers officials, who had stood beside Roethlisberger a year ago when he proclaimed his innocence after a woman claimed he raped her in Lake Tahoe, Nev., in 2008. He was not charged in that case.
Nike pays Roethlisberger to use his image, and in a statement Tuesday, it said he “continues to be part of Nike’s roster of athletes.”
But Ballou, as a Steelers fan and local businessman, may be more representative of the backlash Roethlisberger is likely to face when he returns next week to Pittsburgh for workouts.
Steelers fans are passionate and loyal to the team, not to any individual player, and Roethlisberger’s off-the-field behavior ? including a motorcycle accident he had while not wearing a helmet ? has rankled them. The Rooney family is said to be furious about the damage done to an organization that those who work for it think is bigger than any individual. The franchise takes pride in conducting itself with standards of conduct that, Coach Mike Tomlin said last month, they believe are above and beyond those of their N.F.L. peers.
Ralph Cindrich, a longtime N.F.L. agent and sports consultant who lives in Pittsburgh, said fans he had heard from was furious with Roethlisberger.
A Pittsburgh-based company, PLB Sports, that marketed Big Ben Beef Jerky ? and made a sensation of Flutie Flakes ? ended its five-year business relationship with Roethlisberger on Tuesday. The owner of the company, Ty Ballou, said he made the decision after hearing the lurid details of Roethlisberger’s encounter with the woman, which were revealed by a Georgia district attorney Monday. Roethlisberger was not charged with sexual assault.
Ballou has worked with players like Doug Flutie, Terrell Owens, Hines Ward, Jerome Bettis and Dustin Pedroia, and it was the first time in 14 years that he ended such a relationship. Ballou would not disclose how much money Roethlisberger earned annually from the deal, although he said it was not in six figures. According to Sports Illustrated’s “Fortunate 50” list of highly paid athletes, Roethlisberger earned $2.5 million in endorsements in 2009.
“I’m a father and as a father I hope the lesson is learned by Ben,” Ballou said in a telephone interview. “I can’t imagine anyone touching Ben Roethlisberger. Enough is enough. I hope there is a suspension. At some point in time, Ben has got to put himself in the right position and understand what it means to be a celebrity, a quarterback, a Steelers player.”
The N.F.L. and the Steelers are expected to review Roethlisberger’s case and decide on a punishment, perhaps a multigame suspension. Roethlisberger’s lawyer, David Cornwell, who accompanied Roethlisberger to his meeting with Goodell, declined to comment on PLB Sports’s severing ties with Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger, his image tattered and his immediate playing future in doubt, apologized Monday night in a statement he read from the Steelers’ locker room. Notably absent were top Steelers officials, who had stood beside Roethlisberger a year ago when he proclaimed his innocence after a woman claimed he raped her in Lake Tahoe, Nev., in 2008. He was not charged in that case.
Nike pays Roethlisberger to use his image, and in a statement Tuesday, it said he “continues to be part of Nike’s roster of athletes.”
But Ballou, as a Steelers fan and local businessman, may be more representative of the backlash Roethlisberger is likely to face when he returns next week to Pittsburgh for workouts.
Steelers fans are passionate and loyal to the team, not to any individual player, and Roethlisberger’s off-the-field behavior ? including a motorcycle accident he had while not wearing a helmet ? has rankled them. The Rooney family is said to be furious about the damage done to an organization that those who work for it think is bigger than any individual. The franchise takes pride in conducting itself with standards of conduct that, Coach Mike Tomlin said last month, they believe are above and beyond those of their N.F.L. peers.
Ralph Cindrich, a longtime N.F.L. agent and sports consultant who lives in Pittsburgh, said fans he had heard from was furious with Roethlisberger.