Ben Roethlisberger recently admitted he has had to battle a few addictions over the years. The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback spoke at a virtual conference for Christian men over the weekend and talked about his past additions to alcohol and pornography. He spoke to Tunch Ilkin, one of the hosts of the event who is a former Steelers player.
"I think sometimes we get put on this pedestal where we can't make mistakes," Roethlisberger said via ESPN. "I've fallen as short as anybody. I've been addicted to alcohol. I've been addicted to pornography, which makes me then not the best husband, not the best father, not the best Christian I can be." The event, which was called ManUp Pittsburgh, was held virtually on Father's Day and hosted by Urban Impact in connection with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. Roethlisberger, who has been married since 2011, talked about his journey to being a Christian.
"I can be a really good athlete and a Christian," he stated, "It's not one or the other. I can do both. I want it to be known to all of the young men out there. It's cool to be Christian and be an athlete. Go ahead and be the best athlete you can be and see if you can be a better Christian." During Roethlisberger's career, he has been accused of sexual assault twice and was suspended for four games in 2010 for violating the NFL's conduct policy. In the 2010 season, Roethlisberger was able to lead the Steelers to a Super Bowl appearance only to lose to the Green Bay Packers.
Roethlisberger, 38, is set to have a bounce-back season in 2020 after missing nearly all of last year due to an injured elbow. Tomlin recently talked to reporters about Roethlisberger's health status and said he's on track to return for the start of the 2020 season.
"He's comfortable and pleased where he is," Tomlin said via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Some people who had the opportunity to work with him are impressed and pleased where he is. The medical experts are comfortable where he is and his readiness for 2020." Roethlisberger has put together a Hall of Fame career, leading the Steelers to two Super Bowl wins and reaching the Pro Bowl six times. He has thrown for 56,545 yards and 363 touchdowns in his career.