Former Steeler Ryan Clark upset with media’s handling of Ben Roethlisberger story
Ben Roethlisberger recently spoke candidly about his battles with addiction and how his Christian faith has helped him overcome his demons.
The story surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback’s disclosure, perhaps unsurprisingly, was thoroughly covered by the media, and former Steeler-turned-ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark is unhappy with how the reporting was handled.
Appearing at an event called “ManUp Pittsburgh” on Father’s Day, Roethlisberger opened up about how his issues with alcohol abuse and pornography made him “not the best husband, not the best father, not the best Christian I can be.”
“But you have to dedicate yourself and understand that you can get out of it because of the grace of God and him saying, ‘Listen, you’re good enough for me the way you are,” Roethisberger continued, according to Brooke Pryor of ESPN.
In reaction to the rampant coverage of Roethlisberger’s comments, Clark spoke extensively about his unhappiness with how the media handled the story during an appearance on ESPN’s “NFL Live.”
A story broke about Ben Roethlisberger sharing a story of his struggles with certain demons during a Christian Conference zoom call. I was asked about it today, & it was one of those moments that I knew was bigger than football.. here’s how I answered. pic.twitter.com/4eoDX9593a— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) June 24, 2020
“I don’t really want to comment on whether it surprises me or not. I hate us for this, I hate myself for having to speak on a man being vulnerable, a man being human and sharing his testimony, sharing his story with those that he can inspire,” Clark said, as transcribed by Steelers Depot. “And now you have to get on TV and talk about whether you expect it or if you could see this, and I’m not gonna do it.
“I wouldn’t want anyone to do it to me. I’ve had my struggles. I’ve been married since I was 24, and you deal with things and you go through things, and when you share those things with people in ways that you want to inspire them and ways that you want them to grow and ways that you want them to connect with you, everybody doesn’t have to get that talked about on TV.
“I don’t necessarily believe that we have the right to judge, to critique, to criticize, or do anything with his personal moments that weren’t for us. This wasn’t even for our consumption. For me, I’m happy for him that he is trying to grow. I’m happy that he’s tried to grow from when he was a rookie until now. I’m glad that he’s sharing his personal struggles with people in hopes of trying to build them, in hopes of trying to build better men, but as far as anything else that has to go into it, that is for Ben, and I’m gonna leave that for Ben.“
Clark’s issues with the reporting on the Roethlisberger story appears to be not that it was covered. Instead, Clark believes that the quarterback has been exploited and unfairly judged due to his forthright and straightforward admission of personal weaknesses and failures in his past.
Whether that is indeed accurate or not is debatable, although that certainly wasn’t the case across the board when it comes to the media’s coverage. Either way, Clark clearly felt that something needed to be said about the sensationalistic manner in which some outlets covered the arguably sensitive story.