In light of today's news that he will not be charged with the sexual assault of a 20-year old college student in Milledgeville, Ga., Ben Roethlisberger made a statement this evening apologizing for the "negative attention [he] brought to [his] family, [his] teammates, coaches, the Rooneys and the NFL."
The statement can be viewed and read here.
But the negative attention didn't stop there. Steelers great and Fox NFL analyst Terry Bradshaw sounded off on the current Pittsburgh QB's situation at a golf outing that served as a Louisiana Tech Athletics fundraiser at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, La. on Monday.
"He's got an image problem right now,” said Bradshaw, the four-time Super Bowl winner who played his college ball at Louisiana Tech, to reporters at the event. “The best thing to do is don’t ever put yourself in that position again. When you’re through playing football do whatever you want to do, but right now stay clean. Stay out of trouble. Stay out of bars. Keep yourself clean."
Bradshaw noted he and Roethlisberger (pictured) have had a strained relationship ever since Bradshaw advised him to stop riding a motorcyle after he crashed in June 2006 without a helmet.
“Our relationship is not any good,” Bradshaw said. “When I told him to park the motorcycle he got pissed. Then he had the accident. Since then he doesn’t like me, and I’m learning not to like him. He wants to break all my records, and I say go for it. Break them. I really don’t care. I’ve done my job, my job is over, and now you have your shot.”
For the record, Bradshaw is the Steelers' leader in passing yards (27,989), completions (2,025), TDs (212), INTs (210), and most importantly, wins (career record of 107-51). Roethlisberger, 51-20 as a starter, is second in every category except INTs (he's tied for third with 81).
An audio snippet from Bradshaw's press conference can be heard here.
Bradshaw continued: “In my opinion he has got to realize who he is. He is an elite athlete in the National Football League. He is under a magnificent spotlight, and he has got to be careful about what he does in the offseason."
He even called Roethlisberger out on his looks.
“There’s nothing greater if you’re single than to walk into a bar with beautiful women and have them just fill your ego up," he said. "And you ask yourself, ‘Would they pay any attention to you if you weren’t who you are?’ Of course not. I’m not that attractive, and neither is Ben. So it’s nice that you can do that [mimics throwing a football]."
Strong words from Bradshaw, who has an interesting perspective, as he covers Roethlisberger on a semi-regular basis and he made his name in the same city Roethlisberger now plays. It'll be interesting to see how many interviews Bradshaw gets with Big Ben, if any, this upcoming season. But that's more of a question for the Watchdog.