Posted on: April 14, 2010 8:49 pm
Edited on: April 15, 2010 3:47 am

A Letter to Steeler Nation

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My Beloved SteelerNation,


We are so vast and far reaching as a Nation that our diversity of Steeler Fans ranges from the most criminally minded, unemployed, urbanite , to the most ignorant uneducated, rural racist. Die-hard Steeler fans are rich and poor, Black and White, as powerless as a homeless man and as powerful as The President of the United States.


Yet on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays from September to February these polar opposites, who probably wouldn’t speak to each other crossing the street, will huddle side by side for hours in a frigid NFL Stadium or a smothering sports bar, or a bloody Baghdad battlefield, and genuinely connect and combine their collective strengths, for one common goal: A STEELER WIN!



For the first time in my 30 year love affair with everything Steeler, I feel a chasm forming that could irrevocably divide this Nation forever. Of course, the source is, as always: Race


My Beloved Steeler Nation


Let’s catch Amnesia!


Blame < Lame



There is a legitimate business element to our team’s current situation and

A legitimate racial element.


Two Time SuperBowl winning, Franchise Quarterbacks, don’t grow on Trees, that said, any African American Steeler Fan (like myself) who suggests that Ben, should be suspended for a year or traded, (or as one guy on a another message board stated), simply cut, because of Commissioner Goodell’s strong disciplinary stance against violations of the league’s conduct policy is plain silly and the indication of a lazy mind incapable of grasping legitimate shades of gray in Business and in Life.


Talented veteran wide receivers under 6’2”in height, even those with SuperBowl MVP credits (hell, we’ve had 3), are more likely to be found growing in foliage, especially receivers with prior infractions and in the final year of their contracts. That said, any European American Steeler Fan, who suggests that Holmes being cut is simply business as usual and completely unrelated to Ben’s allegations and the subsequent racial atmosphere around the league is plain silly and an indicator of the worst kind of “Color-Blindness” in Business and in life.


Sometimes, seemingly unrelated incidents, can occur in rapid succession, and create a “Perfect Storm” of unfairness to one or more effected parties. There doesn’t need to be a huge conspiracy in place for somebody, anybody, to be “made an example of”, for an action they may have normally avoided.


In my opinion, nothing about the way in which the Rooney’s have handled this situation thus far has been intentionally racially motivated or reckless. If Roger Goodell slaps Ben on the wrist with a warning, I, as an extremely proud, Black Man, well versed in my people’s struggles and triumphs, would not view it as a purely Racial slap in the face of the Black players in the league, I would view it as a smart business man protecting his most valuable commodity.


When true racism is a foot, I’m among the first to recognize it. However in this case I find the argument rather limp. A better example would be the media treatment of Matt Jones cocaine violation. I personally, am more offended as a human over the Michael Vick / Donte’ Stallworth inequality of punishment, than I am as a Black Man over the Roethlisberger / Holmes “inequality of punishment”. If  killing dogs cost you four years and $ 100,000,000, then killing humans should garner more then community service.


Ben is my favorite player in the league and anybody who knows me knows, that I would die before dishonoring that seventh Lombardi trophy, however, both Ben and Santonio, deserved to be punished, but punished in different ways for different reasons. Santonio should have been suspended and fined heavily but not traded for a fifth. If Ben’s situation hadn’t occurred just days before Holmes being accused of throwing that glass, this is more likely the punishment that would have been handed down. Santonio is guilty with priors, but I do not believe him to be a menace. Yet, in concert with Ben’s situation, The Rooney’s had no choice and Black Steeler Fans should acknowledge that.


Ben shouldn’t be excessively punished primarily for the incident in the bar to satisfy racial equality, but instead by a preponderance of the evidence created by his off field decision making since being in the league. This discipline should be handed down from the Team not the League. Since no charges were filed, his only crime is against himself and Steeler Nation, therefore his penance should be paid by himself to Steeler Nation.


We as Steeler fans and bloggers would benefit more from exploring productive solutions to our problems and expressing gripes in that manner, instead of senselessly trying to spark another Gettysburg.  



Anakin Skywalker

Category: NFL
Tags: Steelers
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or