Ben Roethlisberger may have gotten pass charges in Georgia but the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t let him off too easy. Roethlisberger will be suspended for 6 games this upcoming season, for breaking the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Here are statements regarding the situation from Goodell (via NyTimes.com):
“I recognize that the allegations in Georgia were disputed and that they did not result in criminal charges being filed against you” – “My decision today is not based on a finding that you violated Georgia law, or on a conclusion that differs from that of the local prosecutor. That said, you are held to a higher standard as an N.F.L. player, and there is nothing about your conduct in Milledgeville that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans.”
I think its great that the NFL decided to punish Roethlisberger for his behavior even if it was not found to be criminal. It is bad PR to have someone representing your organization in a way that you would not like to be represented. I hope that this decision stands as a precedent for other players so that they realize that they are representing more than just themselves, and that their personal behavior effects the reputation of their team and their organization.