PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Ben Roethlisberger is coming clean for the first time on off-field addictions that led him to things he’s not proud of.
The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, in an interview for ManUp Pittsburgh 2020 for Urban Impact with host Tunch Ilkin, said he got away from his Christian upbringing when he went to college and got distracted.
“I never got back to the path to where I wanted to be and was raised to be until I met my wife. And she helped me get back to it,” said Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger acknowledged the personal issues at the time of the sexual allegations at Lake Tahoe and a club in Milledgeville, Ga., and his subsequent four-game suspension.
“I’ve fallen as short as anybody. I’ve been addicted to alcohol, I’ve been addicted to pornography, which makes me than not the best husband, not the best father, not the best Christian I can be,” Roethlisberger said.
The Roethlisberger family has three children — Benjamin, Baylee, Bodie.
Big Ben gives credit to his wife of almost nine years, Ashley, and God for leading him to a better place.
Roethlisberger completed his degree at Miami of Ohio, and three years ago decided he wanted to be re-baptized.
“I wanted to have a closer walk with Jesus, with my wife, my kids, my family, just become a better person,” Roethlisberger said.
Roethlisberger believes he has found God’s forgiveness, “but you have to dedicate yourself. You can get out of it because of the grace of God and him saying you are good enough the way you are you don’t have to be perfect. You can get back into the good graces, all you have to do is ask.”
Fans like Rob Fultz of East Liberty are understanding.
“Everybody’s got their own problems. It’s all in what you do with it after that,” Fultz said.
Mary Jo from White Oak says, “I think he’s already rebuilding his image, but I think it’s going to be hard for people to forget it.”
All the fans seemed to agree that some people will never forgive him, but Maureen McAniff from Castle Shannon believes his comments to Urban Impact are on the right track.
“I think people appreciate it if you own up to it and say I did wrong and this is how I’m making my life better. And I think in general, Pittsburgh appreciates that,” McAniff said.
Roethlisberger told Ilkin he was excited for last season and ready to win a Super Bowl when he suffered an injury and missed most of the season.
“That was God saying, ‘Hold on, it’s not your plan, it’s my plan,’” the quarterback said.
Now the Steelers QB says he feels better than ever, is anxious to get back on the field and any accomplishments from this point forward are thanks to the graces of God.