Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger should be thanking the heavens that he possesses the unique skill to throw a football sixty yards. If he was Ben the 28-year-old mill worker accused of raping a 20-year-old student in the bathroom of a college town bar, he’d be in prison awaiting trial.
Ben Roethlisberger should be thanking the heavens that he is white. If he was Ben the black guy accused of sexual assault in Georgia, he might not even make it to trial.
Ben Roethlisberger should be thanking the heavens that he is rich. If he didn’t have the lawyers to block any volunteering of his DNA, as well as lawyers poised to spend hours investigating the last details of a 20-year-old woman’s sexual history, he would be wearing the steel bracelets. And he likely wouldn’t have had his accuser, after going through the ordeal of a “rape kit,” deciding that a high-publicity rape trial was not how she wanted to spend the next two years of her life.
Instead, because he resides on a white pedestal of wealth and fame, Ben Roethlisberger gets Ocmulgee, Georgia, District Attorney Frederick Bright telling Ben to “grow up” and little more. He gets DA Bright saying that he couldn’t indict because he didn’t think the case could be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt” or that he could make the case “100 percent.”
And here I thought that was a judge or jury’s job, to determine whether a case could be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.” I thought that evidence is then gathered and presented at a trial.
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This double standard needs to stop, not just with athletes, but throughout all of society.