FINDLAY, Ohio (KDKA/AP) – Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says he’s sorry he let a few negative words cause a rift between him and his hometown in Ohio.
Roethlisberger was back in Findlay over the weekend as he and his sister were inducted into Hancock County’s sports hall of fame.
He says he was hurt several years ago by criticism from some people in the northern Ohio town that came after he was accused of sexual assault.
He wasn’t charged then, but he was suspended by the NFL in 2010. That same year he stopped listing Findlay as his hometown.
Going into the induction ceremony, there were some concerns from officials at the Hall of Fame.
“In the end, all our frets and stewing and questions that we had about what this was about and that was about, it never materialized,” said Larry Alter, of the Hancock County Sports Hall of Fame.
Roethlisberger said at Saturday’s induction ceremony that he’s sorry what happened overshadowed the support he had from Findlay.
“I would like to take this moment to say I’m sorry to the hundreds and thousands of supporters I’ve had from day one here, that I let a few bad words said from people cloud the love you have always had for me,” he said.
He says he’s proud of where he grew up.
“I’m so proud, humbled and honored to call Findlay my home and where I grew up, so thank you so much for your support. I appreciate it,” Roethlisberger said.
And now, fans will once again find Findlay listed on Roethlisberger’s Steelers’ bio.
“I think as a 35-year-old young man, he’s now matured,” said Alter. “He has a family, he’s a different person than he was 10 years ago and it really showed.”
Roethlisberger was inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside his sister, Carlee Roethlisberger, a basketball standout.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)