Ben Roethlisberger is a two-time Super Bowl champion. With such an accomplished résumé, some would say that Big Ben should be picking out his bust in Canton.
Yet, as Roethlisberger prepares to earn a third ring, he is still trying to repair his image after two rape accusations.
“I want to be a role model,” Roethlisberger said yesterday. “I want people to look up to me. I like when kids wear my jersey.”
While he’s never been charged in either incident, Roethlisberger is seen as one of the league’s top villains. And, according to a Sports Illustrated report, his own teammates didn’t come to his defense when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell visited the team during training camp.
Roethlisberger denied the validity of that report, saying “a lot of the guys kind of did [defend him].” Yesterday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin praised him.
“Ben is a highly respected member of our football team, not only because of what he’s done this year, but his line of work in previous years,” Tomlin said. “We all fall short of perfection. We all make mistakes. His are well-documented, and he’s doing as best he can in terms of moving forward with it.”