This Saturday marks only the second time in NFL history that the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals will meet to duke it out in the postseason — the Steelers won the game at their last meeting in 2005. Ahead of the playoff game, a radio station in Cincinnati is taking some below-the-belt shots at Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger by issuing a city-wide fake “rape warning” against Big Ben.
According to the New York Daily News, radio station 700 WLW began airing the radio spot on Friday and, despite controversy, plans to continue airing it through the weekend.
“This is a severe Ben Roethlisberger update from 700 WLW. The Tri-State currently under a severe Big Ben warning from now through early Sunday morning. The Steelers quarterback has been spotted in the downtown Cincinnati area. All females ages 18-40 are to use extreme caution, especially if heavily consuming alcohol. Males should also be on the lookout just in case.”
The spoof doesn’t stop there, however. It continues on to specify that Ben Roethlisberger poses the greatest threat to women between the ages of 18 and 40, “especially those with boob jobs in the downtown Cincinnati area,” and states that if you happen to see “Big Ben and he flashes Little Ben, you are asked to report it to authorities immediately.”
The spoof warning is, of course, referencing Ben Roethlisberger’s sexual assault charges from 2008 and 2010. In 2008, Roethlisberger had a civil suit brought against him by a woman named Andrea McNulty, who was a casino host at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe hotel-casino, who alleged that Big Ben lured her into his room under the guise of fixing a broken television and then raped her while he was in Lake Tahoe for a celebrity golf tournament in 2008. The case was subsequently dismissed in 2012 after a settlement between the parties was reached.
In 2010, a 20-year-old college student claimed Ben Roethlisberger had sexually assaulted her in a Georgia nightclub bathroom. The woman who alleged the assault decided not to prosecute Roethlisberger, and after an extensive investigation, the district attorney stated that they were never able to prove what actually happened, so Ben was never charged.
While some find the Ben Roethlisberger rape warning a “hilarious” and a harmless joke, others are taking it very seriously, saying the radio station has gone too far and that the Steelers should sue for defamation of character.
@steelers should file a suit claiming defamation of character and liable when attacking Ben Roethlisberger's person— james cohen (@atogre_cohen) January 8, 2016
Regardless of how the fake Ben Roethlisberger rape warning has been received by listeners and the internet at large, according to TMZ, the radio station plans on continuing to play the spot, at least through the weekend.
Some may say that the cheap shot against Roethlisberger is just some Bengals fans’ way of overcompensating for their fear of a loss this Saturday, as Cincinnati is searching for its first playoff win since the 1990 postseason, and considering Roethlisberger and the Steelers have racked up 17 wins in 24 games against the Bengals.
Listen to the full radio spot below.
What do you think about the fake Ben Roethlisberger rape warning? Is it just the right amount of funny? Has the radio station gone just a little too far? Sound off in the comments below.
[Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images]