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After retiring to little national fanfare in January 2022 as rumors of Tom Brady hanging it up loomed heavier, the slothful ex-Steeler Ben Roethlisberger has now put Lamar Jackson in his mouth.

Speaking about Jackson on “Footbahlin with Ben Roethlisberger,” he said: “You don’t really fear Lamar’s arm, his accuracy, all the time. He’s got a huge arm, he can make things happen when he scrambles, but you don’t fear him sitting in the pocket just picking you apart.”

Typically, the fraternity of NFL QB’s, past or present, speak in glowing terms of one another, however, Ben and others have felt comfortable openly ruminating about Jackson’s ongoing contract negotiations and his associated worth.

Football fans were quick to debunk the shade, adding that Jackson is not only a better passer, but maintained a consistent pocket presence better than the often erratic and blundering Roethlisberger.

Lamar Jackson is not a prototypical QB on purpose

According to Bleacher Report, the image of the Golden Boy quarterback is a tall, lean, cannon arm. Handsome, clean-cut, dates the cheer captain. Stays in the pocket, stays cool under pressure. Confident, outgoing, looks you right in the eye and shakes your hand. Well spoken. Makes good decisions. Smart. White.

Football coaches look for this player because that is what’s always succeeded at the highest levels. That’s the kind of quarterback their mentor won with, or they played with—or they were themselves, years ago.

That’s why the Rooney Rule exists: given their choice, football men seek to repeat the past. Empirically, (white) executives hire (white) coaches who come from a background of historical (white) success, who then draft quarterbacks that pass the “eyeball test” (and are thereby white).

While White QB’s often pass the “eyeball test” with flying colors, Ben Roethlisberger’s most infamous scrambles were made far from the public’s gaze.

Ben Roethlisberger is a good ol’ boy with a bad history

Though Lamar Jackson has been nothing short of a role model QB in Baltimore, Roethlisberger repeatedly endangered the lives of others and himself during his playing career.

Most notably when he crashed his motorcycle in 2006, suffering serious facial injuries, Roethlisberger was not wearing a helmet and it was reported that he did not have a valid license at the time of the crash.

The next incident occurred in 2008 when Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault by Andrea McNulty, then an employee of a Lake Tahoe hotel and casino. McNulty said she was lured to his hotel room under the guise of fixing a broken television.

Her complaint alleges that Roethlisberger blocked the door when she tried to leave. According to the lawsuit the quarterback grabbed her and then tried to kiss her. Roethlisberger denied the allegations and never faced any criminal charges. He reached an out of court settlement with McNulty in 2011.

The NFL did not punish Roethlisberger. McNulty, on the other hand, was the recipient of backlash from those who did not like to think of their favorite quarterback as an alleged sexual assaulter. McNulty later suffered from depression.

Roethlisberger can’t outrun his past – or his nickname

In 2010, another accusation surfaced when a 20-year-old college student in Georgia claimed that Roethlisberger assaulted her in the bathroom stall of a nightclub. Her complaint alleged that Roethlisberger’s bodyguard grabbed the woman’s arm and escorted her to a hallway where the quarterback was waiting with “his penis out of his pants.”

She says he went on to rape her and a subsequent medical examination of the woman found “superficial laceration and bruising and slight bleeding in the genital area” although no semen was detected.

The case was dropped after authorities cited insufficient evidence. Roethlisberger was questioned by just one police officer who coincidentally had asked Roethlisberger to pose for a photo earlier that night and allegedly later described the accuser as a “drunken bitch”.

Lamar Jackson has yet to sign a long term deal

The NFL finally swooped in with a six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy but later reduced it to four games for “good behavior.” 

Meanwhile, it appears there isn’t enough good behavior in the world for Jackson who inexplicably continues to wait for his big payday.

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...

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