Ben Roethlisberger admits past addictions to alcohol, porn

Ben Roethlisberger opened up last weekend about his personal issues, admitting to past addictions to alcohol and pornography.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback made the comments as part of a ManUp Pittsburgh virtual conference. On Tuesday, multiple media outlets reported details of Roethlisberger’s conversation with ex-Steelers player Tunch Ilkin, who served as one of the event’s hosts.



“I’ve fallen as short as anybody,” Roethlisberger said. “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. But you have to dedicate yourself and understand that you can get out of it because of the grace of God, and Him saying, ‘You’re good enough for Me the way you are. You don’t have to be perfect.’

“That’s what I think is important in my message to all the men out there watching this is that we all fall short. That’s what happens, but it’s OK. You can get back into the good graces, and all it takes is an ask. And how easy it is for us to use our words? … If we ask for forgiveness, He’s going to say, ‘OK.’ How lucky are we?”

Ben Roethlisberger
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Roethlisberger was accused of sexual misconduct in 2009 and 2010, but he was never charged with a crime in either incident. However, the NFL suspended him for the first four games of the 2010 season for violating its personal-conduct policy.

He credited his 2011 marriage with bringing him back to religion.

“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.”

Roethlisberger said he was baptized for a second time three years ago.

“I was baptized as a kid, my parents took me as a baby. But I didn’t make that decision,” he said. “So three years ago now, I made the decision to be baptized because I felt like I needed to do that. I wanted to have a closer walk, a better relationship with Jesus, with my wife, with my kids, with my family — become a better person. So I think the person that brought me to Him was Jesus.

“Jesus is the One who brought me back to Him, and I’m so thankful for it because I feel I’m a better Christian, a better husband and a better father today because of His forgiveness of me.”



Roethlisberger, 38, sustained a right elbow injury in the second game last season, and he underwent season-ending surgery on Sept. 23. On Tuesday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, “The medical experts are comfortable with where he is in the rehabilitation process and his trajectory for the 2020 season.”

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)