If Ben Roethlisberger’s son finds his way onto the links, you can bet he’ll have one happy dad.
The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback hosted his weekly radio show Tuesday and, per Triblive.com, he didn’t shy away from the issue of football’s violence and indicated that golf might be a better alternative for future Roethlisbergers.
The Steelers and Bengals took part in a fierce AFC North battle Monday night, one where Pittsburgh snuck out with a 23-20 win and a 10-2 record but a contest that also saw a plethora of violent hitting that had fans cringing.
Ryan Shazier, a Steelers linebacker, left the game after suffering a serious back injury in a scary moment. Roethlisberger already spoke after last season about retiring from football, and the Shazier injury got him on the topic of why that is.
“People get all over me for saying you have to contemplate every year on if you want to keep going,” Roethlisberger said on his show. “Plays like this make you really evaluate things.
“That’s why I say it’s a smart thing to do. It’s a violent game. And this game (against the Bengals) always seems to be that way. It’s crazy this sport we play.”
Roethlisberger elaborated further that his thoughts about retiring also made him ponder whether his children should maybe go out for a different sport, like golf, instead.
“When we talked in the offseason about evaluating and making sure, these are the reasons. Having kids … I hope my son plays golf,” Roethlisberger said. “If he wants to play football, that’s fine, too. But it’s a tough sport. It’s not for everyone. If he wants to do it, I’ll encourage it. If he doesn’t, I’m just fine with that as well.”
Roethlisberger, a father of three, actually has two sons. It’s most likely he was referring to his eldest, 5-year-old Benjamin Jr.
Whatever the case, this is certainly thought-provoking from one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks, an avid golfer who’s played in a number of PGA Tour pro-ams. Roethlisberger’s comments are also indicative of a growing trend of how parents in the United States feel about football.
When a message comes from a voice this ingrained in the sport, it’s certainly worth taking notice.