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Ben Roethlisberger Practices: How Long Will "Big Ben" Hide From the Media

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Ben Roethlisberger has returned to a familiar place. No. Not to the bars prowling around with his buddies looking for under-age girls.

No. Not to the golf course to play a round of golf with a former girlfriend.

Roethlisberger returned to the football field for the first time since being suspended 6-games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.

Late last week Commissioner Roger Goodell gave Big Ben the thumbs up to return to the Pittsburgh Steelers to begin practicing with the team. Today that's what he did.

A Steelers spokesperson stated neither Roethlisberger nor head coach Mike Tomlin would be available for comment after practice. How long will Roethlisberger continue to hide from the media?

I'm quite sure a segment of the media contingent wanted to ask Roethlisberger some questions but that wasn't happening. He hasn't fielded any questions from the media in a long time.

This is not surprising in the least considering how Big Ben has been consistently protected from national media coverage regarding his first alleged sexual assault in 2008 and the latest rap he beat approximately a month ago.

Other than playing a few rounds of golf Roethlisberger has been out of the public eye. With gracious help from the media Big Ben continues to be protected just like his offensive line protected him on the field.

When Tiger Woods was found to be a liar, cheater, and phony the media demanded an explanation. The media demanded he allow us into his world and let us know what went wrong.

I was one of those who demanded such a request. My theory is very simple: If you can readily speak to the media when things go well extend the media the same courtesy to speak when turmoil visits your world. It's that simple. That's why Roethlisberger needs to speak as well.

Ultimately we came to know the names and faces of Tigers' conquests. They even appeared on magazines and television with regularity.

The media ultimately tracked Tiger down in Mississippi where he was getting treated for sexual addiction. Then later he was coerced into issuing his scripted world-wide apology for cheating on his wife.

Teeing it up with other women isn't part of the "till death due us part" deal but it's not against the law. What Roethlisberger was accused of March 5th was a possible criminal offense: And let's not forget he has a pending case from his first alleged sexual assault in 2008. Just thought I'd remind everyone since it's still not being addressed in the mainstream.

Now there's Roethlisberger. What do we really know about him or his current situation?

Where did Roethlisberger get treated for his behavioral problems he seemingly passed with flying colors?

Where are the routine aerial photos of Roethlisberger's house and his family?

We know what Tiger's house and family looks like, right?

Where are the David Letterman and Howard Stern jokes?

We know Tiger was beaten down with jokes, don't we?

But more importantly why does the media continually give Roethlisberger a pass on facing the music? The likes of Michael Vick, Plaxico Burress, and Tiger Woods weren't cut any slack so why should Roethlisberger?

For those of you who've followed my commentary on the Roethlisberger fiasco know I think the media structure along with race plays a factor in why he's getting the royal treatment from the media. It shouldn't be this way, but it is what it is.

If media structure and race have nothing to do with it then what does?

In event Roethlisberger will continue to benefit from the unofficial security the media is providing him for now but Roethlisberger won't be able to hide forever.

In the words of the great Joe Louis: "You can run but you can't hide."

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