Fans have protested Michael Vick (2) joining the Steelers, but Ben Roethlisberger’s (7) controversial past is still in the shadows in Pittsburgh (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Keith Srakocic).
Vick vs. Big Ben
New Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Michael Vick cannot seem to escape his controversial past.
Years after paying his debt to society on dogfighting charges, many fans still will not cut him any slack.
Steelers’ fans have recently started a petition to keep Vick off of the field in Pittsburgh.
According to CBSSports.com, over 15,000 Steelers fans have already signed the petition as of Aug. 25.
The petition reads in part, “Michael Vick is a convicted felon and no-class piece of crap. He is also a terrible QB which is why he has no team. Let’s united as Steelers fans—as NFL fans—and stop him from playing on our team! Steelers fans united! Sign to keep Vick from ever wearing the coveted Steelers uniform!!”
While all Americans are obviously free to voice their displeasure with anything, are Steelers fans being hypocritical about the “coveted Steelers uniform?”
In recent years, the Steelers have been described as the new Cincinnati Bengals because of the amount of players on their roster with criminal records.
Furthermore, Steelers starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been accused of some heinous crimes and he is still in possession of that “coveted Steelers uniform.”
According to a 2010 Bleacher Report article, “(In July 2009) Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting Harrah’s casino executive Andrea McNulty, 31, in his hotel room while he was in Lake Tahoe for a celebrity golf tournament…According to the lawsuit, McNulty required hospitalization for depression…(In March 2010), a 20-year-old female…accused him of sexual assault at a college bar in Milledgeville, Ga.”
To Roethlisberger’s defense, he was never convicted of any of the allegations, but his past interactions with women makes one wonder why Vick is being singled out for his transgressions.
Likewise, other current and former members of the Steelers have had their run-ins with the law recently such as running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount, now with the New England Patriots.
According to the BusinessInsider.com, “Bell was charged with marijuana possession and driving under the influence of pot near Pittsburgh before a preseason game in August (2014).
“Blount, who was in the car with Bell, was charged with marijuana possession.”
To the Steelers credit they have remained objective and open-minded to fans that take offense to Vick playing for their team.
“You are sensitive to those potential things, but we are going to do our due diligence,” said coach Mike Tomlin. “Rest assured that we have done that. Also, rest assured that he has done a lot since some of those things that he has gone through. His track record to this point speaks for itself.”