[An update can be found at the bottom of this article]
Ben Roethlisberger is a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s also been accused of sexually assaulting two women. Now, he’d like to share his thoughts on San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick’s decision to remain seated during the National Anthem as a protest against police brutality.
During an interview this morning with ESPN, Roethlisberger said this about Kaepernick:
“When it comes to the National Anthem and the flag, I think it stands for something different. You know, like you said, family, brothers, my grandfather served in the Navy—people that have served this country—men and women who’ve lost their lives…to me that’s the National Anthem we stand and support because they give us the freedom to play this game. We are so, so lucky to play a game that we love…and that’s because we have the freedom that soldiers have given us.”
So according to Roethlisberger, the freedom that the National Anthem stands for only applies to actions that honor our military and police. Oh, and don’t forget your freedom to play football.
From Jezebel’s Madeleine Davies:
Freedom in America is a relative concept, of course. It’d be nice if that freedom extended to a black person’s ability to survive a routine pullover, for example. It’d be nice if a woman in America could feel free to go to a NFL quarterback’s room to fix a TV without fearing being sexually assaulted. And it’d be nice for a woman in America to feel free to press charges against her accused rapist without being intimidated out of it by his fans, his legal team, and the media.
Listen to Roethlisberger’s interview in the link below:
Update, 9/21/18: In tell-all book due out this October 2, porn star Stormy Daniels recounts a 2006 encounter with Roethlisberger that allegedly took place one day after she had sex with future President Donald Trump.
Daniels says at the end of the party, Trump asked Roethlisberger to walk her up to her room. When they got to her room, Roethlisberger asked her for a “good night kiss.” She declined, but he wouldn’t let her close the door.
“I was terrified,” Daniels wrote. “I am rarely terrified.”
Roethlisberger, who is 6’5, insisted, “Come on.”
After she managed to get inside her room and shut the door, Roethlisberger “stood outside, not leaving” and knocked for several minutes until he eventually left.