Speaking at the ManUp Pittsburgh event this past weekend, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger revealed his past struggles with addiction and how he was able to overcome them.
“It’s not always easy,” Roethlisberger told Tunch Ilkin, former Steelers player and current radio analyst. “People don’t realize all the time that us athletes, we’re human. We sin like everybody else. I am no different. We make mistakes. We get addicted to things. We sin. We’re human. I think sometimes we get put on this pedestal where we can’t make mistakes. 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 38-year-old signal caller added that by rededicating himself to his faith, he was able to overcome his vices.
“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. You don’t have to be perfect.’”
Roethlisberger detailed how he found himself straying from God while in college at Miami University (Ohio), a pattern that he admitted to Ilkin continued during his early professional career. He was twice accused of sexual assault, and received a six game suspension in 2010 for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
Still, Roethlisberger explained that he was able to bring Christianity back into his life, providing him new purpose and making his faith stronger than ever. He renewed his baptism three years ago.
“One of the things I want to tell guys and tell people out there, I can be a really good athlete and a Christian,” he said.” 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. And that’s what I’m trying to do now. I’m trying to be a better Christian than I am athlete and football player. I push myself every day to do that, and it starts here. It’s not always easy.”
Roethlisberger also shared how his faith helped him overcome his season-ending elbow injury last year, and how he likely would have handled it differently just a few years ago.
“I’m so thankful that this injury happened during my walk that I’m in now,” he said. “I don’t know that I would’ve been able to handle it a few years ago, five, six, seven, 10 years ago. I know that my faith wouldn’t have been as strong. Now that I know what it’s about, it’s easy to say, ‘Hey, God, this is in your hands. I’m going to go train my butt off to get back out there, and whatever you have for me, I’m ready.’”
Entering his 17th season, the two-time Super Bowl champion is the Steelers franchise leader in touchdowns, passing yards, completions and wins. Roethlisberger has been selected to six Pro Bowls, and has led the league in passing yards twice over his career.
Organized by Urban Impact and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, ManUp Pittsburgh is an annual event that “encourages and teaches men to be godly leaders for their families, and raises awareness of the devastating impact of fatherlessness among youth today.”
This year’s event was held virtually on Father’s Day. In addition to conversations with Roethlisberger and Tomlin, former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle also spoke during the program.
Steelers QB Josh Dobbs Working with NASA for 2nd Straight Year
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Josh Dobbs is joining the NASA Kennedy Space Flight Center for the second straight offseason.
The collaboration is a part of the NFLPA’s virtual Externship program, which provides players with professional development experiences to prepare them for their careers after football.
Dobbs is part of an exclusive group of just 52 players participating in the program. His placement with NASA will last through the end of March.
“We believe that this year’s virtual Externship experience will provide our player members with a unique opportunity to broaden their knowledge, skillset and network in new, innovative ways that will serve them well during life after football,” NFLPA Player Manager Connor Ford said.
Dobbs’ mental acumen is well-documented, as the quarterback left the University of Tennessee with a degree in aerospace engineering in 2017.
Steelers RB Trey Edmunds Shares Love of Reading with Local Students
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Trey Edmunds has been a lifelong lover of reading, a passion he shared with local students on Tuesday’s celebration of Read Across America Day.
Edmunds joined students at Pittsburgh Faison for a virtual assembly and read New York Times best seller, What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada.
“I am blessed and humbled to be amongst you guys today and to represent another part of the community and be able to read to you,” Edmunds told Steelers.com. “I am so happy to be here today. What I do want to say is I was in some of the same positions as you guys. I grew up listening to people come back and read to me. Some of those same people I have been in contact with many years later. Some of those same things they have read to me, I have had the privilege of reading to some of the people I mentor, some of the young people in my life, whether it’s cousins, nephews. I am extremely happy today.”
Edmunds also surprised the student with a copy of his own book My Brother’s Keeper – What This Means to Me…, written alongside with his brothers Terrell and Tremaine. Terrell is a safety for Pittsburgh, while Tremaine is a standout linebacker for the Buffalo Bills.
Edmunds’ love of reading came from his mother Felicia, who as an educator, always championed the important of the skill.
“My mother is an elementary school teacher, so she had me doing all of that stuff when I was in high school, college, as a matter of fact I have to go to her school to read for the month of March,” he told Steelers.com. “It keeps me on my toes, attentive. I am a big reader myself, so when I get the opportunity to read to kids, I like that type of interaction.”
Should Steelers Sign Zach Banner to be Starter in 2021?
Zach Banner has become a prominent member of the Steelers, but that’s not because he’s had success on the field over the past year. Banner’s success has come off the field by connecting with fans on social media and doing his part to help those in need than he has on a football field. But by no means is that Banner’s fault.
He suffered a season ending torn ACL in Week 1 of the 2020 season. This injury was especially devastating for the USC product because it occurred on the heels of Banner winning the starting right tackle position following a tough training camp battle with Chukwuma Okorafor.
Due to Banner’s injury, it was Okorafor who ended up starting 16 games, including the postseason. While Banner kept in good spirits and became his team’s loudest cheerleader on Twitter during games, it was clear he wanted to be on the field and contributing.
Earning a starting spot as a member of the Steelers offensive line was a major career achievement for Banner, but it was one he didn’t get to enjoy. With Banner expected to be ready for a return next season, should the Steelers sign the 27-year-old with the anticipation that he could be a key piece to bolster the offensive line that was missing during the 2020 season?
Best exit interview ever… Back to work…
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) January 14, 2021
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