Is ESPN Ignoring The Ben Roethlisberger Story?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


ESPN lets a lot of athletes through their "carwash" of interviews on a regular basis, and there's obviously some that they have cushy relationships with. However, it's honestly rare that they choose to ignore certain items, about said athletes, entirely. According to a few websites, Fang's Bites and PFT, the "Leader" is completely ignoring the fact that Ben Roethlisberger is being sued by woman in Nevada. Obviously saying that a pro athlete "sexually assaulted" you, has become taboo at this point, but there should absolutely be a mention of it somewhere. Via FB....

Despite news outlets picking it up, ESPN remains steadfast in its stubbornness to ignore the Ben Roethlisberger lawsuit story. Last night, it was reported by various media outlets including CBSSports.com, Yahoo!, Pro Football Talk and others that the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is being sued by a woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by Roethlisberger in a Nevada hotel last year.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio wonders if ESPN is attempting to protect a relationship with the quarterback. In the story, it's pointed out that Roethlisberger is appearing on ESPN corporate sibling ABC next month in Shaquille O'Neal's new reality show.

But shortly after 1 p.m. ET today, Florio discovers that ESPN has issued a strict "DO NOT REPORT" order, baffling its staffers. Thanks to the Sports Media Watch for the link.

So is ESPN protecting Roethlisberger to maintain a corporate relationship and access to the athlete? If it is, it's another arrow for critics to shoot at ESPN as allegations continue that the network gets too close to certain athletes it covers.

In addition, the network's silence on the story while others report is a hole too big to ignore. And the fact that ESPN jumped all over the Pacman Jones story while refusing to mention Ben Roethlisberger now gives the African American community fodder that the Alleged Worldwide Leader caters to white athletes.
While I don't think race is an issue in this case, I do think ESPN caters to the athletes that give them more appearances than others. I thought the "Leader" had made inroads last year when they hammered their darling Patriots during the whole "Cameragate" months, but apparently they've reverted back to their old ways.

ESPN Will Not Report Roethlisberger Story (Fang's Bites)
Source: ESPN issues "do not report" alert on Roethlisberger story (PFT)

Posted by Awful Announcing at 2:28 PM

27 Comments:

I was thinking the exact same thing this morning. If it turns out to be true, it'll be quite interesting to see if they cover it with the same fervor as the Kobe, PacMan, and McNair stories.

cfaddct said...
Jul 21, 2009, 3:18:00 PM  

ESPN resorted to its worst possible journalistic standards during the Spygate controversy. They consistently reported misinformation and speculation as fact. Maybe this Big Ben thing shows them trying to be a little more careful. Though it does warrant a mention.

Justin said...
Jul 21, 2009, 3:25:00 PM  

This is barely news compared to this headline:

Gordon: Changes coming to Allstate 400

WHAT A HUGE STORY THAT IS! Compared to a two-time SB winning QB being accused of rape.

GMoney said...
Jul 21, 2009, 4:07:00 PM  

According to Florio over at PFT, tWWL suits sent out a "do not report" edict "instructing them not to discuss the Roethlisberger case, but did not provide explanation or justification for the order.

cfaddct said...
Jul 21, 2009, 4:08:00 PM  

They are probably tired of reporting stories like this one. I HOPE that they will wait until they have something concrete until they talk about it. IF, and I do mean if, that is the way that they are thinking, then they should be applauded. If they are not reporting it for the reasons that have been mentioned, then they are continuing to decompose.

Nathan Brice said...
Jul 21, 2009, 4:33:00 PM  

Remember, ESPN decides what is news.

49er16 said...
Jul 21, 2009, 4:34:00 PM  

It's sad when I learned about this from Awful Announcing. All due respect, but this is a blog compared to a media conglomerate.

EH said...
Jul 21, 2009, 5:12:00 PM  

Remember, ESPN decides what is news.

But Brett Favre moved his decision to sign with the Vikings to this Friday!!!!

Jul 21, 2009, 5:18:00 PM  

Did the Bus's little blowjob payoff episode get any play?

Of course not. And Ben is still a single guy, not married and not living some value-laden lifestyle...he's a single slob who gets hammered and hits on chicks.

hollywood wags said...
Jul 21, 2009, 5:20:00 PM  

Are you kidding me? Belichick has hated ESPN ever since Tom Jackson's "His team quit on him" crap, and Belichick hasn't given most of ESPN the time of day since then...and that *absolutely* played into their making a mountain out of the "spygate" molehill.

Frank said...
Jul 21, 2009, 5:25:00 PM  

So many things about this are disturbing and frightening. ESPN has long since any true integrity to all of us. I cannot remember when that began, but it was somewhere around 1999 or 2000. I open the floor to debate on that one. I don't know when it will come back, but I am not sure I will ever rely on ESPN for proper perspective anymore.

Nathan Brice said...
Jul 21, 2009, 6:33:00 PM  

They jumped all over Randy Moss on the eve of the superbowl.

Maybe we should rig their blogger bit by making ESPN not covering Big Ben the biggest topic of the day....

Pip said...
Jul 21, 2009, 9:04:00 PM  

Frank you are dead right. Belichick has been hammered by the worldwide leader since '03. They looked like complete buffoons during spygate. Mike Fish looked like a complete fool. Also even though Matt Walsh had absolutely nothing ESPN acted as though he had the missing 13 minutes of tape from Watergate.

mandb97 said...
Jul 21, 2009, 11:43:00 PM  

ESPN has gone insane for several years. They seem to want to steer sports towards a certain direction. They don't seem to like where sports are going. They are too NFL-centric, if you will.

Nathan Brice said...
Jul 22, 2009, 12:03:00 AM  

They also don't acknowledge when they are wrong. They jump all over the place. They have a bias towards certain sports. What else can I say about them?

Nathan Brice said...
Jul 22, 2009, 12:06:00 AM  

This story does add fuel to the fire that white athletes are covered differently than black athletes.

Scott said...
Jul 22, 2009, 7:54:00 AM  

This is the sort of issue where an effective ombudsman can do some good.
But in the world of ESPN, the phrase "effective ombudsman" is an oxymoron.

Steve Smith said...
Jul 22, 2009, 10:31:00 AM  

They were the last ones to touch the Vick story. It isn't about race.

Mike Georger said...
Jul 22, 2009, 11:28:00 AM  

I agree, Mike. We need to put a gag order on all racial questions in this country. Don't go there.

Nathan Brice said...
Jul 22, 2009, 12:42:00 PM  

fuel to the fire??? LOL do you not watch or read about sports? Of course whites are treated differently, its a part of the presentation of the product.

Jul 22, 2009, 12:43:00 PM  

Do you get the feeling that if Tom Brady was the one being accused, it would be the lead story?

Mike said...
Jul 22, 2009, 12:47:00 PM  

I only watch ESPN for game broadcasts now, ESPN News is the only remotely credible thing going on in the WWL empire.

Brad James said...
Jul 22, 2009, 1:39:00 PM  

Figured this might be outdated, but as of 2:15 EST, there is no mention of the story on ESPN.com -- not even on its NFL page (where the report that McNair had alcohol in his system does register.)

Ever since they (effectively) ditched hockey for poker, I can't take them seriously at all.

David said...
Jul 22, 2009, 2:19:00 PM  

Major update: The NFL plans to investigate the charges against Roethlisberger.

chuckyinjersey said...
Jul 22, 2009, 3:38:00 PM  

For what it's worth, Charles Gibson DID mention the Roethlisberger lawsuit on ABC's "World News Tonight" last evening (7/21). Either there's nothing to ABC's involvement with the story, or Gibson ran with it in spite of the alleged quashing.

JN said...
Jul 22, 2009, 3:59:00 PM  

ESPN has changed its stance. Linda Cohn reported on the story on ESPNEWS, and it is now on .com as well, so all you conspiracy theorists can resort to new stories.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4349253

kibab1979 said...
Jul 22, 2009, 8:49:00 PM  
freefun0616 said...
Sep 26, 2009, 6:04:00 AM  

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