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Roethlisberger and Woods: Does the Media Cover White Athletes More Favorably?

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Ben Roethlisberger continues to get the royal treatment from the media, NFL and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He's yet to face suspension and his case in Georgia won't be prosecuted while the mainstream continues to cut him a break

On April 12th the district attorney in Milledgeville, Georgia announced they would not prosecute Roethlisberger because there wasn't enough evidence "beyond a reasonable doubt" to move towards a trial. Last time I checked I thought that was a jury's responsibility and not the DA.

When Tiger Woods wrecked his Cadillac Escalade on Nov 27th details about his infidelity began to leak out. Once things hit the fan the media feasted on Woods. Mainstream media was consistently on the prowl.

Several of Woods' mistresses gave television interviews about his moral wrong-doing. The mainstream media painted Tiger out to be a terrible person. He was prosecuted in the court of public opinion for his moral-wrong doing.

How come Roethlisberger didn't get the same level of coverage for his alleged breaking of the law?

Let's go back to the summer of 2008. Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Lake Tahoe while he was playing in a Pro-Am golf tournament. The case is still open and pending. Anyone remember that? Since the mainstream neglects to talk about it a friendly reminder here won't hurt.

Big Ben's second alleged sexual assault occurred March 5th when a 20-year old woman asserted that he had sex with her against her will. Once again the mainstream media didn't cover this situation with the level of persistence as Tiger Woods' marital infidelity.

Tiger wasn't accused of sexual assault like Roethlisberger. He didn't invest in a dog-fighting ring like Michael Vick, or shoot himself in the thigh like Plaxico Burress. Woods didn't break the law. He cheated in his wife. Yes, morally his behavior is deemed unacceptable but legally it's all good.

Tiger was consistently covered by media giants like David Letterman, Howard Stern, Good Morning America, CNN and ESPN to name a few.

Didn't Letterman cheat on his wife? Didn't Letterman have a variety of sexual relationships with co-workers? Then he had the audacity to crack jokes about Woods infidelity. Why hasn't Letterman cracked consistent jokes about Roethlisberger with the same frequency as he did with Tiger?

This is the consummate example of hypocrisy.

Tiger was urged to speak out. The mainstream demanded some type of explanation for him. In all fairness I was one of them. Tiger ended up issuing a scripted 11-minute speech addressing some of the questions the media and others wanted answered.

With Roethlisberger no such demands were issued. In being consistent I've demanded explanations and more media coverage on Roethlisberger just like I did Tiger.

Like Tiger, Roethlisberger laid low. He surfaced only to make a statement that lasted just over one minute when it was announced it he wouldn't face charges. But when Tiger laid low he was vilified for not coming forward to speak.

Big Ben stated he wouldn't talk about what happened in Georgia anymore. And he hasn't. How come Tiger was consistently urged to speak about who he slept with but the same media won't ask Roethlisberger what happened in that bathroom?

What makes Roethlisberger so special that the media requests nothing of him but expected the world from Tiger Woods?

Mainstream media is mostly comprised of white males. Facts indicate 94, 88, and 87 percent of the Sports Editors, Columnists and Reports are white males. In essence, white males are covering a world of professional sports where many of the marquee athletes are African-American. There simply isn't enough parity in the media to provide balanced coverage.

The latter helps to explain why white athletes like Roethlisberger receive more favorable coverage than the likes of Vick, Burress and Woods.

A level of consistency must be administered when covering all athletes. When turmoil visited Woods it was written and talked about consistently. No issues with the latter whatsoever. But the same should hold true for Roethlisberger as well. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

We all know once you factor in the media composition, celebrity, race and money the rules of the game for covering African-American athlete differs from the coverage the likes of Roethlisberger receives.

Agree or disagree?

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