The Steelers‘ offseason has centered around Antonio Brown forcing his way out of town, and the subsequent fallout has included Brown — and some former teammates — calling out quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, whom Brown identified as part of the reason he was done in Pittsburgh.
Last month, one-time running back Josh Harris accused Roethlisberger of fumbling on purpose back in a 2014 game because he didn’t like the play call. And on Thursday, another former running back, 2008 first-round pick Rashard Mendenhall, tweeted that Roethlisberger was racist, adding, “Every honest player knows it, it’s not a big deal.”
Several hours later, Mendenhall tweeted again, this time writing that Roethlisberger wasn’t racist but noted, “Please allow the dialogue in sports to be equal. Why’s it so easy to shoot at one player, but not the other?”
Meanwhile, left guard Ramon Foster, who is African American, took to social media to offer former employees an outlet to raise questions or voice concerns about their one-time workplace.
“Moving forward, any former player or affiliate of the Steelers who has an issue with anyone still in the locker room, please contact me or Maurkice Pouncey or anyone else you feel you can talk to,” Foster wrote. “Whoever you have an issue with, we will get you their number so you can address them. I PROMISE. These media takes might give y’all good traffic on your social media outlets but the guys still in that locker room, who y’all still know personally have to answer for those comments.
“Call them what you want, but call them personally and tell THEM. Defend who you want to defend but you don’t have to mention the team at all. Whether you have a ring or played for one year. ENOUGH. CHILL. Most players at one point in their life want to take their kids back to the place where they once played, don’t burn too many bridges. It’s a long history or brotherhood more than anything. BUSINESS is one thing but let’s keep it at a minimum for the guys who have to answer for those comments moving forward.”
Will those players heed Foster’s advice? We’re going to find out over the coming weeks and months.