PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburghers are critical of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he criticized Ben Roethlisberger in an interview.
“Let’s focus on the Super Bowl,” Maxine Carpenter, of Wilkinsburg, said. “Whatever Ben did – that’s between Ben and the Lord, so let’s cut it from there.”
Steeler nation is roiling and the league and Sports Illustrated writer Peter King are backpedaling after King quoted the critical comments of Ben from Goodell.
King apologized and now says he misquoted Goodell as saying Steeler players didn’t support Ben, but sports agent Ralph Cindrich says Goodell’s comments were none-the-less negative and have distracted from the Super Bowl.
“Well, it’s not kind of doing a disservice, he’s doing a disservice,” Cindrich said. “Any time you have something like that it just reverberates throughout and then it goes through all the players and it become the story at the Super Bowl when it’s the story of the players and the teams in the game.”
King quoted Goodell as saying while evaluating discipline against Roethlisberger last summer, he spoke with two dozen Steelers and not one player supported Roethlisberger. Now, King says the commissioner meant that he had spoken to players throughout the league.
“So, sure … I think any moron would say that you would have opposing players vote against Ben coming back,” Cindrich said. “I mean, if you were coming into a season and Ray Lewis were in the same situation, what would you say? ‘You know, get him out of there.’”
The league also says that Goodell made the comments more than a month ago, but Cindrich says the commissioner shouldn’t have made the comments at that time either.
“At or near the time of the complaint against the player, OK. Punishment, OK. He serves it. Make your statement. After that it’s done, over, you should keep quiet,” Cindrich said.
Former Steeler Josh Miller tried to add some perspective to the controversy while talking to fans on Sportsradio 93-7 The FAN.
“Coach Tomlin is going to use this as motivation for the guys – absolutely will,” he said.