Athletes need to realize image as role models

The headlines of sports stars tangled in sex scandals have become disturbingly commonplace. The latest athlete at the center is Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who won’t face a criminal charge after a 20-year-old college student accused him of sexually assaulting her in the bathroom of a Georgia nightclub.

According to police reports, Roethlisberger was barhopping on his 28th birthday March 5 when he met the accuser and some of her friends throughout the night. At the Capital City nightclub, he invited them into the VIP room of the nightclub and ordered them shots. What happened after he followed the young woman in the bathroom is disputed. What’s not disputed is that Roethlisberger acted irresponsibly.

Roethlisberger made a public apology to his fans, teammates and even the Steelers’ president, but one glaring omission is that of the accuser.

Although the young woman was heavily intoxicated, that’s no excuse for inappropriate conduct.

As role models, athletes should be held to high standards of conduct because what they do influence young fans and future generations of athletes. It sets a bad example to allow oneself to get into a bad moral situation without fully taking responsibility.

Multimedia editor Chance Welch for the editorial board.