The NFL news cycle is running wild Thursday morning.
Head coaching updates are coming out by the minute and Ben Roethlisberger decided to join in on the fun by announcing his retirement via a heartfelt video.
— BigBen7.com (@_BigBen7) January 27, 2022
Rumors persisted about whether he was truly done, or if he was going to try to play somewhere other than Pittsburgh in 2022.
His announcement brings finality to the conversation and ends a historic NFL career.
Roethlisberger has the stats to make him a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
He won two Super Bowls and ranks fifth all-time in passing yards.
But past controversies, most notably multiple sexual assault allegations, make him a polarizing figure in the NFL world.
That explains the wide range of reactions to his retirement announcement.
Ben Roethlisberger in 18 years with the Steelers:
🔸 2x Super Bowl champion
♦️ 3x AFC champion
🔹 8x AFC North champion
🔸 5th most passing yards in NFL history
♦️ 7th most passing TDs in NFL history
🔹 5th most wins as a starting QB in NFL history
Thank you, 7️⃣ pic.twitter.com/OSa8DqUvLa
— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) January 27, 2022
NFL World Reacts To The Roethlisberger Retirement
The most visible reaction on social media is that of praise toward the Steelers legend.
Regardless of what you think about his off field stuff – there is no denying Ben Roethlisberger is one of the greatest Steelers of all time, maybe as high as second behind Joe Greene
— Paul Zeise (@PaulZeise) January 27, 2022
— Blitzburgh✨ (@Blitz_Burgh) January 27, 2022
Congratulations to Ben Roethlisberger on a First Ballot HOF Career. One of the toughest and most important players in #Steelers history.
— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) January 27, 2022
But it is impossible to discuss his career without noting the serious allegations that faced him in the past.
He was even hit with a suspension in 2010 for his actions.
That has a lot of the reaction focused on his past and asking why it is being ignored.
I'm not even asking for like, a prolonged focus on it for God's sake I just would love SOMEONE to point out Ben Roethlisberger has a problematic legacy and it's as much a part of his career as his Super Bowl appearances
— Elle Em (@ellle_em) January 27, 2022
Thank you to KDKA and WPXI, 2 local stations in Pittsburgh, for mentioning in your articles about Ben Roethlisberger's retirement his sexual assault allegations. The media, including those two stations, has kept silent about this for years.
— April #WearAMask and #GetVaccinated (@April_Sassy) January 27, 2022
I always remember Ben Roethlisberger finding himself under investigation for a sexual assault while being under investigation for a previous sexual assault. It’s almost comically preposterous. https://t.co/WiRrakz354
— julian chwang (@ChwangJulian) January 18, 2022
His legacy is a complicated one and calls into question how fans are supposed to view professional athletes.
He is likely going to get enshrined in Canton as soon as possible.
And that is fair given his accomplishments solely on the field.
But it is also fair for people to bring up his allegations when discussing anything he did in his football career.
They too are a part of the story.
— SteelerNation (@SteeIerNation) January 24, 2022
Roethlisberger opted to put on a video and keep the fanfare to a minimum.
Yet that won’t stop the polarizing discussion surrounding his name whenever he is mentioned.