Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger each released statements this evening.
Roethlisberger held a press conference in the Steelers locker room just after 7:00 p.m, expressing gratitude for the investigation process and sorrow for the negative attention he has brought to his family, teammates, coaches, Rooneys and the NFL.
Roethlisberger did not take questions from the media.
“I’d like to begin by expressing gratitude for the thorough investigation process in Georgia and the Prosecutor’s decision not to bring charges. I know without a doubt it is the right conclusion. I don’t intend to discuss any details related to the events in Georgia. I am happy to put this behind me and move forward.
I am truly sorry for the disappointment and negative attention I have brought to my family, my teammates and coaches, the Rooneys and the NFL. I understand that the opportunities I have been blessed with are a privilege, and that much is expected of me as the quarterback of 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, and I am committed to improving and showing everyone my true values.
I am excited to get back to work with my teammates, and I am more determined than ever to have a great season. I intend to make my family, friends and the Steeler Nation proud on all fronts.”
Thank you. God Bless!”
Meanwhile, Steelers President Art Rooney released a statement today indicating that the organization will determine the next steps in the process, following Roethlisberger’s meeting with Commissioner Goodell.
The Steelers are believed to be furious over the situation and a one-to-two game suspension is being discussed inside the organization.
“The investigation process in Georgia has been deliberate and the District Attorney’s decision regarding Ben Roethlisberger speaks for itself, Steelers President Art Rooney said.
“During the past few weeks I have met with Ben on a number of occasions, not only to discuss this incident, but also to discuss his commitment to making sure something like this never happens again. The Pittsburgh Steelers take the conduct of players and staff very seriously. Ben will now have to work hard to earn back the respect and trust of Steelers fans, and to live up to the leadership responsibilities we all expect of him.”
“In the coming days Ben will meet with Commissioner Goodell to discuss his resolve to abide by the league’s personal conduct standards. After consultation with the Commissioner, our organization will determine the next steps in this process.”
Just after 4:00 p.m., the Steelers confirmed that the team had traded wide receiver Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets in-exchange for a 5th round pick in the 2010 draft.
Steelers Director of Football Operations, Kevin Colbert issued a short statement: “We have agreed to trade Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets. We believe the move is in the best interests of the Pittsburgh Steelers, ” Colbert said.