The protest

Photos: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As every Steelers fan knows, yesterday was a big day … the day Big Ben came back to play for the team following his suspension for his antics down in Georgia, in which he was accused of raping a 20-year-old woman in a bar.

Now, his return didn’t sit well with some folks. And really, I can’t say I blame them — who wants to cheer on someone that they *think* is a rapist? But the key words in all of this are “accused” and “think.” He was not charged. He did not go to trial, nor was he convicted. He was suspended from playing by the NFL on, essentially, “moral issues.”

Some people wanted to get rid of Ben. And once the season got underway and we were off to a 3-1 start, they said, “We don’t need Ben … look how well Charlie [Batch] is doing! We love Charlie! He’s the greatest!” But they seemed to forget that Charlie faced rape accusations, too.

(Oh, and don’t forget when the beloved Jerome Bettis got accused as well.)

Regardless of all that, some felt the need to protest Ben’s return at Heinz Field.

Now, personally, I don’t mind protesters. If you want to protest, go ahead and protest. As long as it’s done properly (ie, not burning stuff to the ground, not hurting anyone, has permits, etc), it’s your right as an American.

But here’s what gets me: Some of the people protesting opted to wear handkerchiefs to cover their faces, G20 protest style.


Their Che shirts, which were made in China, were underneath Walmart made-in-Ecuador hoodies.


That really pisses me off.

Here’s my thinking: A lot of G20 protesters hid their faces because they were up to no good. They were lighting things on fire, fighting with police, and in general, causing problems. Some were wanted by the authorities. They hid their faces because they didn’t want to get caught, or wanted to negate the effects of tear gas, should the police open up on them.

Here, the protest was a least noble-esque. They’re protesting the return of a man who is accused of being a rapist. Why the need to hide their faces? Did they expect police to tear gas their mob of 20? Were they intending to set someone’s tailgate on fire? No? So what does their anonymity mean?

That they wanted to remain anonymous while slandering Ben?

I’m not a Big Ben apologist. Hell, I rarely buy a jersey supporting specific players because, like the rest of us, players are generally very flawed individuals.

But if you’re going to stand outside of someone’s workplace and hold up signs calling them a rapist, you should at least have the guts to put your face behind your words.


3 Responses to “The protest”

  1. October 18, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Chances are, these are professional protesters, not local Steeler Fans that are actually concerned about Ben’s suspected actions.

    I have never liked media outlets covering accusations. I think it damages the American ideal of innocent until proven guilty. In a perfect world, the accused would get a trial and verdict before the media would report on it. Unfortunately, the real world can’t work that way.

  2. October 18, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    See, now Tim Tebow isn’t flawed…except when it comes to playing football.

  3. 3 Jenny Johnston
    October 19, 2010 at 12:59 am

    That second photo: Why so serious, protesters? It reads as “Bored kids.” Awesome cutline.

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