Rush to judgment on Big Ben wrong
By Bob Smizik | Sunday 10:20 a.m.
I frequent a restaurant/bar in my community that also has been known to be visited by young women.
Both restrooms in the bar area are completely at the back of this establishment and before reaching them customers, men and women, disappear behind a wall.
Am I guilty of poor judgment in frequenting this bar?
I think most of you would say no.
Suppose further, though, that at this same bar I was charged with sexual assault based on something that happened behind that wall. Because I am a public figure the story makes the newspapers, television and Internet.
What would you say then?
I imagine there would be some whoíd say whatís that old fool putting himself in such a position.
And this is why I am not ready to pronounce judgment on Ben Roethlisberger.
I know Iím supposed to have opinion on subjects in the news, but I prefer to base those opinions on facts I know. I donít know enough facts about Roethlisberger to condemn him.
I will not condemn him for hanging out in a ``college bar.íí
Iím not quite sure what a college bar is and Iím not sure that Roethlisberger was in such a place, even if it has often been described as that.
Nor will I condemn him for hanging out with a women who was eight years his junior. People exchange lots of information in the bar scene, some of it is true. I donít know, though, if men check the age of women and vice-versa.
And even if he knew she were 20, so what?
I can scarcely believe the opinions put forth on this site and the amount of amateur psychoanalyzing that has taken place. Thatís a right the Internet has given us, I suppose, but it doesnít mean it should be used so willy-nilly and with such mean-spiritedness.
The facts are these: Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault. My understanding of that is it's a wide-based term for inappropriate action of a sexual nature.
He was accused. He has not been charged and there is a wide difference between the two.
That does not mean what happen isnít news. Itís big news when the star of the No. 1 team in town is charged with anything, let alone sexual abuse. And thatís doubly so because Roethlisberger has a history in this area.
A lot of people immediately condemned the young woman in this instance. Thatís too bad and speaks to problems they have. But letís for a minute say that she was strictly looking to make headlines, cause trouble or began a law suit. If that is the case, tell me, what did Roethlisberger do wrong?
I say nothing.
I say men and women, regardless of their star power, have a right to go out in public and enjoy themselves. if thatís what they want. As far as I know, thatís all Roethlisberger did.
If Roethlisberger is guilty in this case, then the full force of public opinion, the law and NFL justice should come down on him.
Until such time, I reserve judgment.