Steelers explain Wilson's release
Thursday, March 20, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Steelers decided to release wide receiver Cedrick Wilson last night, shortly after he was arrested for punching his former girlfriend in the face in a Pine restaurant.
"We're extremely disappointed with this incident,'' Steelers chairman Dan Rooney said this morning. "The Steelers do not condone violence of any kind, especially against women.
"The majority of our players are good citizens and make numerous positive contributions to the community. Unfortunately, these kinds of incidents reflect poorly on all our players and many innocent and good people are considered guilty by association, they get thrown into the pot, so to speak.'
Rooney said Wilson, the team's No 4 wide receiver, was released because of the circumstances involved and that they differed from those of Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison, who was arrested March 8 for assaulting his girlfriend in Ohio Township.
"I know many are asking the question of [why] we released Wilson and Harrison we kept,'' Rooney said. "The circumstances -- I know of the incidents, they are completely different. In fact, when I say we don't condone these things, we don't, but we do have to look at the circumstances that are involved with other players and things like that, so they're not all the same."
In Harrison's case, Rooney said the player was trying to take his son to be baptized, while Wilson had a previous incident with his girlfriend, although she was charged, but Wilson was not.
"What Jimmy Harrison was doing and how the incident occurred, what he was trying to do was really well worth it," Rooney said of Harrison's initial intent. "He was doing something that was good, wanted to take his son to get baptized where he lived and things like that. She said she didn't want to do it."