Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger may be facing his last season in Pittsburgh, but it looks like the veteran player still hopes to make a difference beyond his final game.
The 39-year-old quarterback established The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, which provides financial grants to police departments across the nation, helping boost training programs for K-9 units and canine assistance. The Punxsutawney Borough Police and K-9 Department was just one of the lucky group that received funding.
The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has made it a mission to ensure the safety of law enforcement’s companions on the ground and to help them perform to their best ability using adept training protocols. With an estimated $900,000 in grant funds, Big Ben and his charity work will help strengthen training for fifteen police and fire K-9 units across the nation.
Below is the official announcement from Ben Roethlisberger, following this year’s round of grants:
“It has been an absolute privilege to be able to support the critical work of K-9 officers and their handlers over the past 14 years. To witness the bond between a dog and their handler has been very rewarding. Their lifesaving & crimefighting gives ‘teamwork’ new meaning. They are truly partners! I have many fond memories of meeting first responders on the field and in our communities and I want to thank them for their dedication and sacrifice.”
The story is a positive bit of news for Ben, who still aims to recover from days of troubling headlines and questions regarding his loyalty to the Steelers. Despite consistent play — he threw for 33 TDs and 10 INTs in 2020 — Roethlisberger gets the feeling that his final days in the NFL are near. Offering some humanitarian points could help him maintain a leading presence in the locker room.
In a loss to the Cleveland Browns during the Wild Card round last season, Ben Roethlisberger completed 47 passes, an NFL record for number of passes completed in a single game. He also threw four interceptions to finish off another season for Pittsburgh.
In a recent report from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Steelers defensive captain Cameron Hayward supported the aging quarterback after going 12-4 last year, only to exit the playoffs early.
At this point in his career, the conversation will largely be about the remaining time on his clock, but Big Ben seems to hear the ongoing demonization of law enforcement in America. And he’s not backing off.
Ben Roethlisberger and the Foundation are responding to the unjust calls for police to be defunded, keeping them from receiving the proper training needed to stay out of national headlines. Many don’t realize how much K-9 units are harmed by a lack of training funds.
Charity and goodwill are never in short supply, which makes this story a drop in the bucket of redemption for Big Ben.