What started as a 38-second social media video by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has drawn a lot of scrutiny in just over a day since it has been released.
Roethlisberger appeared in the video getting his hair cut and beard trimmed at Norman’s Cuttin’ Edge Barber Shop in Sewickley, after throwing passes to teammates at nearby Quaker Valley High School.
On Tuesday, Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf criticized Roethlisberger’s decision to have his hair cut at the barber shop despite such businesses being closed by Wolf’s order in Allegheny County due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Allegheny County is in the yellow of phase of Pennsylvania’s reopening plan.
Tuesday evening, an attorney for shop owner Carlos Norman released a statement, clarifying that the shop remains closed and that Roethlisberger did not pay for the service, but that Norman saw him as a personal favor.
“Carlos Norman has been a community fixture and local business owner since 1993,” said the statement released by attorney Marc Kohnen. “Norman’s Cuttin’ Edge Barber Shop has been closed for business since the governor’s shut-down order, and presently remains closed, in full compliance with the law and state regulations. Mr. Norman and Mr. Roethlisberger are close personal blends, and Mr. Norman’s use of his free time during closure to provide a haircut to his friend was a personal favor where no money was received or exchanged.
“In most homes across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the rest of America, we are relying on the selfless acts of friends and family members to help get us through the ongoing pandemic. We should all look within ourselves to celebrate and be thankful for the existence of family, community, and personal friends to lend a hand in each of our lives at this time rather than promote stories that divide us.”
A cached version of the shop’s website showed that as of May 13, the shop was still accepting appointments, saying that “due to the COVID-19 outbreak and for the safety of our patrons this establishment is only accepting online appointments so we can respect social distancing.”
Wolf did not say that he believed Roethlisberger or Norman were in violation of his order, but cautioned that he does not believe such behavior is appropriate or safe for Pennsylvanians.
“My concern is just a general concern,” Wolf said. “Anybody who puts himself or herself into harm’s way is something that I think we have to try to avoid. When you go to something like a barbershop, and you’re not protected, I don’t care who you are, the chances of that virus actually wreaking havoc on your life increases.”
Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/18/20
James Conner tested out his injured ankle and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw passes to JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Chase Claypool during practice on Friday, September 18, 2020.
This practice was in preparation for the Steelers week 2 game on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
Cam Heyward Named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 1
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward has been named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 1.
Heyward was honored for installing his first Little Free Library, a book-sharing box placed in underserved communities around the Pittsburgh area.
Congrats to @camheyward on being named Week 1 #CommunityMVP for installing his first Little Free Library. The book-sharing boxes provide 24-7 access to literacy for underserved Pittsburgh communities while honoring the legacy in education of his late grandfather. pic.twitter.com/uKwbnz28A1— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 18, 2020
Little Free Library is a non-profit organization that “inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.”
The installation of the book-sharing boxes marks the launch of the Rufus and Judy Jordan Literacy Project, a new initiative of the Cameron Heyward Foundation that will work to promote children’s literacy and honor his late grandparents, both of whom were lifelong educators in Pittsburgh.
Drafted in first round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, Heyward has spend his entire career in Pittsburgh. He is a three-time Pro Bowler, and has twice received First-Team All-Pro honors.
Heyward and the Steelers agreed to a four-year, $71.4 million contract extension on Sept. 6 that will allow him to retire in Pittsburgh and make him the highest-paid defense player over the age of 30 in NFL history.
Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/17/20
The Steelers finally experienced a practice with almost everyone on the roster able to take the field. Only two players did not take part in practice before their week 2 game against Denver.
Alex Highsmith and Minkah Fitzpatrick stood out from the rest on Thursday, September 17, 2020.