Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has opened up.
During a virtual conference call for Christian men, Roethlisberger spoke about fighting various struggles off the field over many years.
“It’s not always easy,” said Roethlisberger on ESPN. “People don’t realize all the time that we athletes are human. We sin like everyone else. I am no different. We make mistakes. We become addicted to things. We sin. We are human. I think sometimes we put on this pedestal where we cannot make mistakes. I have fallen as short as anyone. I have been addicted to alcohol. I have been addicted to pornography, which makes me the best husband, not the best father, not the best Christian that I can be.
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“But you have to dedicate yourself and understand that you can get out of it thanks to God’s grace and from him saying, ‘Listen, you’re good enough for me as you are. You don’t have to be perfect,'” he added.
Roethlisberger admitted that he distanced himself from religion during his college career in Miami, Ohio. And when he was charged with sexual assault twice during his professional career and suspended for part of the 2010 season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, Roethlisberger said it changed him for the better, and he grew stronger in his faith.
“Last year, we went through a crazy offseason,” said Roethlisberger. “All I thought was going back to the football field, and I thought, ‘God, you’re going to give me all this redemption. I’m going to go out, I’m going to prove everyone wrong, I’m going to win a Super Bowl, and we’re going to give you all the glory, and this is it. This is my year back. “And in the second game, I broke my elbow. That was God saying,” Wait, it’s not your plan to come back. It has to be my plan. ” So I had to apply the brakes.
“Those are the wake-up calls he gives us to say, ‘Wait now, don’t be selfish and do it in your time. We will do it in my time.'”
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Roethlisberger, who suffered an elbow injury that ended the season in 2019, said he was thankful that it happened when he had a closer relationship with God.
“I am so thankful that this injury occurred during my walk that I am now,” said Roethlisberger. “I don’t know if I could have handled it a few years ago, five, six, seven, 10 years. I know my faith would not have been so strong. Now that I know what it is, it’s easy to say, ‘Hey, God, this is in your hands. I’m going to train to go out again, and whatever you have for me, I’m ready. ‘”