The Pittsburgh Steelers may be one of the NFL’s most storied and respected franchises, but that hasn’t kept them free from drama over the years. Antonio Brown probably brings the most examples to mind, but other players like Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant made their fair share of noise as well.

For now, the Steelers are relatively drama-free with the Dallas Cowboys serving as the league’s most recent circus. That stems from S Malik Hooker and and LB Micah Parsons going back-and-forth on social media. Last week, former Steelers’ receiver Plaxico Burress commented on the situation, believing something like that would never happen in Pittsburgh. One analyst took with umbrage with that comment though, comparing the Cowboys’ offender to Ben Roethlisberger.

In a recent episode of his First Things First podcast, analyst and host Nick Wright pushed back against Burress’ comments, saying that the Steelers have had issues like the Cowboys are having now. He cited Roethlisberger’s radio interviews as proof.

“For years, Andrew Fillipponi hosted a radio show in Pittsburgh,” Wright said. “Every Tuesday, Ben Roethlisberger would go on, intentionally, one hour before the start of Mike Tomlin’s weekly press conference. And dropped little bombs that Tomlin then had to respond to improvisationally at the press conference because it had just been said right when Tomlin was going up there. The Steelers are, that’s not ownership, that’s the Rooney family. That was because they had a player who wanted the attention and was going to be a little hard to deal with.”

The Cowboys’ situation is different, Hooker accusing Parsons of caring more about his podcast than the team. Roethlisberger never got into a direct war of words. There’s no way to tell if Roethlisberger was trying to stir up trouble with his appearances, but for what it’s worth, he stopped doing the show during the 2019 season after some people criticized it, showing that he didn’t intend to create any issues.

Wright implying that Roethlisberger was a diva isn’t a new take, and you can say he had his issues, but when Brown stated publicly that he was upset over some of the comments made on the radio show, Roethlisberger apologized. He held himself accountable and owned up to his mistakes. In the heart of the season, when things aren’t going right, emotions can take over. That’s football. However, it is incorrect to say that Roethlisberger paid more attention to the radio appearances than the actual games. If that’s the comparison Wright is trying to make, then he needs to reevaluate.

In Roethlisberger’s later years, he became a leader and received praise from his teammates that reflects that idea. Even as a younger man, Roethlisberger famously promised Jerome Bettis a Super Bowl if he returned for the 2005 season, showing how much he’s always cared about the guys in his locker room. At the end of the day, Roethlisberger has two Super Bowl rings that prove his devotion to football. While he’s been involved in drama before, he was self-aware enough to understand that his actions weren’t helping the team.


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