Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made headlines on Monday when he released a video on social media that saw him throwing to his teammates for the first time since his 2019 elbow surgery, and then going to a barber shop to get his hair and beard trimmed.
Roethlisberger had pledged before his surgery last fall to not cut his hair or trim his beard until he was able to again throw to his teammates, and he came through on that pledge with Monday’s video.
The reaction to seeing Roethlisberger once again on a football field alongside James Conner, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Ryan Switzer was overwhelmingly positive.
But Roethlisberger visiting a Pennsylvania barber shop to get his hair and beard trimmed while such establishments have been ordered closed by Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf was not met with universal approval, including from Wolf himself.
“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,” Wolf said. “I don’t personally think any Pennsylvanian ought to take that chance. I certainly don’t want to take that chance myself.”
I admittedly do not listen to every press conference with Governor Tom Wolf. I'm going through today's presser, and this comes up:
Gov. Wolf on Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger getting his hair cut and beard trimmed at an Allegheny County barbershop: pic.twitter.com/NZJR4PoIQk
— Josh Kurelac (@JoshKurelac) May 19, 2020
In Wolf’s plan for reopening the state, barber shops will not be able to open until their counties are in the green phase. Allegheny County and the rest of Southwestern Pennsylvania is either in or transitioning to the yellow phase.
The Steelers re-opened UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Tuesday to some non-coaching staff and players that are rehabilitating injuries. Roethlisberger is included in that group, but it is not clear if he was in attendance Tuesday.