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I've heard this Roethlisberger apology before

The apology almost has become part of a professional athlete's uniform.

Do something wrong, apologize and get along with your career.

They all sound the same, probably because those apologies are written by public relations experts. They all know what to have their athlete say -- or not say.

So after reading Ben Roethlisberger's apology Monday, I remain skeptical. But I'm not skeptical because of my preconceived notions.

I remain skeptical because I've heard it all before.

Back in 2006, Roethlisberger apologized to teammates, fans and his family after his near-miss with death after a motorcycle accident.

"In the past few days, I've gained a new perspective on life," Roethlisberger said in a statement released by the team. "By the grace of God, I'm fortunate to be alive ..."

Good. He's learned his lesson. He'll get his life on track.

At least that's what I thought, and I suppose others did too.

Then came the sexual assault accusations last summer. During training camp, Roethlisberger offered an apology to teammates for causing a possible distraction.

Once again, I thought at least he's learned his lesson.

Well, here we go again.

From Monday:

"Missing games will be devastating for me. I am sorry to let down my teammates and the entire Steelers fan base. I am disappointed that I have reached this point and will not put myself in this situation again. I appreciate the opportunities that I have been given in my life and will make the necessary improvements."

It sounds nice. But I heard this before.

Can we really believe him?


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The Post-Gazette's story was a grabber, with Randle El saying he wouldn't play football if he could do it over again.

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The kids are getting bigger and faster, so the concussions, the severe spinal cord injuries, are only going to get worse. It’s a tough pill to swallow because I love the game of football. But I tell parents, you can have the right helmet, the perfect pads on, and still end up with a paraplegic kid. There’s no correcting it. There’s no helmet that’s going to correct it. There’s no teaching that’s going to correct it. It just comes down to it’s a physically violent game. Football players are in a car wreck every week.
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