Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is "happy" to put sexual assault allegations in Georgia behind him and knows he must work to regain the trust of his teammates and the team’s large fan base. Roethlisberger, reading a statement for 74 seconds on Monday night but not taking questions from reporters, said Georgia prosecutors reached the right conclusion by deciding not to charge him in the case.
"I’d like to begin by expressing gratitude to the thorough investigation process in Georgia," Roethlisberger said. "The prosecutor’s decision not to bring charges, I know without a doubt, is the right conclusion. I don’t intend to discuss any details related to the events of Georgia. I’m happy to put this behind me and move forward."
The two-time Super Bowl winner plans to resume working out shortly with his teammates, but did not say when. Roethlisberger, wearing a red sports shirt and light-colored slacks, made his comments from a podium in the Steelers’ locker room, not far from his own locker.
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"I am excited to get back to work with my teammates, and I’m more determined than ever to have a great season," he said.
Roethlisberger did not discuss his upcoming meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell or any possible punishment that might be brought against him by the league or the team for violating the players’ conduct code. Roethlisberger also is contesting a civil suit in Nevada brought by a woman who is accusing him of assaulting her in a Lake Tahoe hotel in 2008.
"I’m truly sorry for the disappointment and negative attention I brought to my family, my teammates, coaches, the Rooneys and the NFL," Roethlisberger said. "I understand that the opportunities I have been blessed with are a privilege, and much is expected of me as the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I absolutely want to be the leader this team deserves, valued in the community and a role model to kids. I have much work to do to earn this trust."