Pittsburgh QB Roethlisberger Passes on Helmet Ads Despite Accident

July 18, 2006

Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t plan on doing public safety announcements for motorcycle or helmet safety following his accident last month.

“I don’t think that’s my place,” the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback said in a taped interview aired on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“Some people feel that, you know, I probably should be doing that and being a big advocate for that,” Roethlisberger said from Los Angeles. “But for me, I’m going to let people make their own decisions … So I don’t think you’ll see me doing any kind of billboards or advertisements.”

Roethlisberger had been in Los Angeles for the taping of the ESPY Awards. Last Friday, he was slated to play in the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Nevada.

Roethlisberger had seven hours of facial reconstruction surgery June 12 after ramming his motorcycle into a car that turned left in front of him on a Pittsburgh street.

Roethlisberger broke his jaw and nose when his head smashed into the car’s windshield and he was thrown over the car onto the pavement. He was cited for riding without a license and not wearing a helmet.

In the ABC interview, Roethlisberger said he sometimes wears his helmet, but on the day of the accident, he forgot it.

“I had just gotten my bike all custom done. It was painted up and it was really nice,” he said. “I was supposed to take my helmet that day with me to get painted to match my bike so I could wear it all the time when I rode that bike and I totally forgot it.”

Roethlisberger said he also forgot how his life is scrutinized by the public.

“I forgot that I have to live this life under the microscope and that people are always watching and criticizing everything that I do,” he said. “I’m coming off two pretty good seasons in the NFL, winning a Super Bowl and 24 years old, and maybe this is God’s way of saying, ‘Hey, I can take it away from you at anytime so you better back off a little bit.”‘

In the past two seasons, Roethlisberger helped the Steelers achieve a 27-4 record.

Roethlisberger said he has started working out and is now looking forward to training camp later this month.

“Now that I feel healthy and know that I am going to be OK, my only focus is football,” he said. “So I’ve not even started to think about riding a motorcycle again. … Once this season’s over, maybe I’ll start thinking whether I’ll start riding again.”

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