Though the above question isn’t exactly the one posed by Sports On My Mind’s DK Wilson, dwil is quick to remind us that in the cases of Ben Roethlisberger, Rick Ankiel and Josh Hamilton, “each of these White men have been the subject holistic treatments by a group of people who look like, or identify with them.”
You don’t hear or read about people calling Ben Roethlisberger a liar, do you? Though he said he still would ride his motorcycle without a helmet, he swore he would be more careful and more aware of his surroundings. Would you call the sexual assault charges against him the result of Roethilsberger being more careful?
You don’t hear Rick Ankiel’s name being brought up when there is talk of PEDs in baseball, do you? As soon as it was known that Ankiel was on the HGH train, apologists for the Cardinals’ outfielder rushed to the fore and told the public that Ankiel was the feel good story of the summer and placed his HGH use in the context of his want to make an almost impossible transition from pitcher to everyday player.
If Josh Hamilton was a black football player, Roger Goodell would have suspended him for at least four games, and probably more for staining the shield and everyone under the shield. But Hamilton was instead shielded by sports columnists who made certain we knew Hamilton actually acted responsibly by immediately informing the MLB league office, his wife, his team and anyone else after his falling off the wagon; they also constantly reminded us that the incident occurred in January, not during the season, so Hamilton’s act harmed no one outside of himself and his immediate family.
And in each case, even now with Roethlisberger, we barely equate the athletes with their transgressions (with Roethlisberger, we are told repeatedly that the charges against him only serve to create a tighter Pittsburgh Steelers locker room and that if anyone can put aside the charges and continue to perform at a high level, it is the Super Bowl Champion quarterback).