Much like millions of other people, Ben Roethlisberger’s demons include a prior addiction to alcohol and pornography, which he spoke about during a conference over the weekend.
Roethlisberger was an invited speaker at the conference and the Pittsburgh Steelers QB used his 15-minute segment to discuss his shortcomings off the football field.
“I’ve fallen as short as anybody,” Roethlisberger said while speaking with former Steelers player Tunch Ilkin, one of the program’s hosts. “I’ve been addicted to alcohol. I’ve been addicted to pornography, which makes me then not the best husband, not the best father, not the best Christian I can be.
“You have to dedicate yourself and understand that you can get out of it because of the grace of God.”
Roethlisberger said he lost his way when he left home to attend college at Miami (Ohio).
“It wasn’t like I stopped believing,” he said, “but you’re not sharpening your skills. I’m still praying here and there, but I wasn’t as strong of a Christian in college as I wish I would have been.”
“I never got back to where I wanted to be or how I was raised,” he said.
Roethlisberger was once facing rape and sexual assault accusations from two different women. He said his belief in Christ was reinforced when he got baptized three years ago.
“I just felt that I needed to do that,” he said. “I wanted to have a closer walk, a better relationship with Jesus, my wife, my kids, my family — become a better person.”
“I’m trying to be a better Christian than I am an athlete at football,” Roethlisberger said. “I push myself every day to do that. It starts here. It’s not always easy. People don’t realize all the time that us athletes, we’re human. We sin like everyone else. We make mistakes. We get addicted to things. We sin.”
A year after leading the NFL with 5,129 passing yards, Roethlisberger finished 2019 with just 351 yards and zero touchdown passes due to an elbow injury.