Roger Goodell on Ben Roethlisberger: 'Not a single player went to his defense'
Updated at 11:15 p.m.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was speaking generally of NFL players and not specifically the Steelers when he said that no athletes came to Ben Roethlisberger's defense during the league's investigation into Roethlisberger's actions last summer.
Peter King and Sports Illustrated made the clarification Monday night.
Updated at 6:10 p.m.
In a press conference upon the Pittsburgh Steelers' arrival in Dallas, Ben Roethlisberger was asked about Roger Goodell's comment and said: "I know for a fact that when the commissioner came to training camp and talked, a lot of guys did. I'm thankful that my teammates are who they are and I'm really appreciative of them."
Steelers linebacker James Farrior also disagreed with Goodell's comment.
Filed at 1:01 p.m.
In an extraordinarily revealing piece in Sports Illustrated this week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell opens up to Peter King about a number of issues, but the passage guaranteed to get the most headlines concerns the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Goodell suspended Ben Roethlisberger, who was accused of sexual assault last March, for six games for conduct detrimental to the game and later reduced the suspension to four. Goodell told King he "doesn't feel any connection'' with Roethlisberger, who was not charged in the Milledgeville, Ga., incident nor in a previous one. King writes:
Not too surprising there. I'd always heard Roethlisberger felt he got railroaded on his six-game suspension that was reduced to four. But Goodell said he had "some very tough times'' with Chicago defensive tackle Tank Johnson before suspending him, and that Donte' Stallworth chafed when first told he'd be suspended for a year after a car Stallworth was driving struck a man on a Miami causeway and killed him, with the player being legally drunk at the time.
"The one thing I take a little bit of issue with is when guys tell me they're being screwed,'' Goodell said. "[Most often] they're not recognizing they have a role in it.''
Regarding Roethlisberger, Goodell said when he was investigating what to do with the quarterback, he talked to "I bet two dozen [Steeler] players ... Not one, not a single player, went to his defense. It wasn't personal in a sense, but all kinds of stories like, 'He won't sign my jersey.' ''
| January 31, 2011; 1:01 PM ET
Categories: NFL, Super Bowl XLV
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