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Sports Columnist’s Controversial Comments Bring Fatherhood, Team Commitments Into Spotlight

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Ben Roethlisberger

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John Shumway joined NewsRadio 1020 KDKA in 2004 as co-host of The KDKA...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Sometime in the next couple of weeks, Ben and Ashley Roethlisberger will become new parents.

And the conflict of a birth on game day has returned to the spotlight thanks to a sports columnist for ProFootballTalk.com.

When a pro football team suits up and takes the field, ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio said earlier this week that each player has a responsibility to be on the field ready to play.

“It comes down to 16 days, being available 16 days,” he said.

Even Florio went on to say, if that player is becoming a dad that very same day.

Roethlisberger decided more than a month ago that he’ll be at Ashley’s side, and he reiterated the point on The Dan Patrick Show Friday morning.

“I still don’t think it’s that tough because I’m saying that these guys are my family – this team is my family – but I also have a family at home. We always put our family first and they understand that and they all tell me, go be with your other family,” the Steelers’ quarterback said.

While some Steelers’ fans believe Big Ben should be at the game, most say it’s a no-brainer ,and Ben is right.

“He is a Steeler and we need him, but that’s more important, family,” said one fan.

“Forget the game; you’ve got backup, that’s what they are there for,” added another.

But Florio went a big step further. He thinks coaches should tell players what months they need to…. um avoid.

“This is where the term professional really comes into focus,” he says. “There are ways to ensure that your spouse, significant other, fiancée, girlfriend, whatever won’t be giving birth between September and January. You plan your family around those months.”

Florio has gotten an earful about his birth position, and is now backing off.

He says: “I’ve come to realize that telling a player how to handle birth is exactly like telling him how to handle death. I’ll never disagree with how someone chooses to grieve.”

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