Roethlisberger Reveals Struggles with Addictions

By Justin McGonigle

Last weekend, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was one of the guest speakers at the ManUp Pittsburgh Conference. Roethlisberger was joined by Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, and former Pittsburgh Pirates skipper, Clint Hurdle in what ended up being an online collaboration due to COVID-19.

Roethlisberger’s early days in the NFL were filled with sexual harassment lawsuits, Super Bowl rings, a wrecked motorcycle, and in some eyes, poor leadership. The product on the field was successful, but the man Roethlisberger was off the field, wasn’t something to brag about.

As the years have gone by, the Roethlisberger we’ve seen off the field has started to jive with the Hall of Fame play on the field. Most have associated his off the field turn around with his marriage to wife Ashley in 2011. But while that has played a large part in his turnaround, that isn’t the only reason he credits.

“Three years ago I got baptized,” Roethlisberger said. “I was baptized as a kid, my parents took me as a baby. But I didn’t make that decision. So three years ago now I made the decision to be baptized because I felt like I needed to do that. I wanted to have a closer walk, a better relationship with Jesus, with my wife, with my kids, with my family — become a better person. So I think the person that brought me to Him was Jesus. Jesus is the One who brought me back to Him, and I’m so thankful for it because I feel I’m a better Christian, a better husband and a better father today because of His forgiveness of me.”

Roethlisberger said that sometimes people forget that athletes are human too. He then went on to talk about struggles he’s had even while he’s been married.

“I’ve fallen as short as anybody. I’ve been addicted to alcohol, I’ve been addicted to pornography, which makes me, then, not the best husband, not the best father, not the best Christian I can be. But you have to dedicate yourself and understand that you can get out of it because of the grace of God, and Him saying, ‘You’re good enough for Me the way you are. You don’t have to be perfect’.”

Today, Roethlisberger knows that he can only control his own actions. He encourages everyone to understand that they can always come back from their sins, and it isn’t ever too late.

“That’s what I think is important in my message to all the men out there watching this is that we all fall short. That’s what happens, but it’s OK. You can get back into the good graces and all it takes is an ask. And how easy it for us to use our words? … If we ask for forgiveness, He’s going to say, ‘OK.’ How lucky are we?”


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