Owens plays race card in Roethlisberger rant

Written by Chris Kolb

Topics: NFL News

Throughout his 15 year career, Cincinnati wide receiver Terrell Owens has never shied away from saying or doing things that are controversial, and his latest comments are no different.

In discussing the return of Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger from his four game suspension, Owens claimed the treatment of Roethlisberger by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was motivated in part by the color of his skin.

“Here’s Ben Roethlisberger,” Owens said. “Quarterback. Caucasian. For the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is his second time with allegations for sexual assault. This is not his first or second time in trouble,” Owens said of Roethlisberger. ”Some years back, he had the motorcycle accident, too.  And all this good stuff.  So now this is compounded with that.  So he has a rap sheet.”

Owens continued on with his rant, questioning the handling of Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick as compared to Roethlisberger, insinuating that Vick was out of the league for as long as he was, in large part because he is black.

It’s clear that Owens failed to research his topic du jour before stepping up onto his soapbox, as the NFL as a whole had little say in the length of Vick’s hiatus, given that he was a guest at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary for the majority of his time away from the game. Upon his return to the league, Vick served a three game suspension, before taking the field with the Eagles in week four of the 2009 season.

Roethlisberger, on the other hand, was not charged with a crime as a result of his off the field issues, but was suspended under the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The reduction in his suspension came only after Roethlisberger demonstrated a clear intent to stay on a straight and narrow path with regard to his public interactions.

Owens’ comments came during a weekly talk show hosted by himself and fellow Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, the T. Ocho Show on Versus. For his part, Ochocinco said little in response to Owens’ attack on the league and Roethlisberger, and seemed uneasy with the direction of the discussion.

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