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ESPN explains position on Roethlisberger

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Earlier Wednesday night, we noted that ESPN has finally decided to start covering the Ben Roethlisberger civil case.

Now the network wants to explain their decision. ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer sent PFT a statement Wednesday night detailing the network’s position.

“Based on the sensitive nature of the story and other factors we mentioned, we initially exercised caution and did not report it,” the statement reads.

“Since then, we’ve been observing how the story has progressed, monitoring other news outlets, and doing our own reporting. We decided to report the story tonight.”

The hot button issue has inspired more than 850 comments in less than three hours on ESPN’s AP article about Roethlisberger, most of which aren’t worldwide leader friendly.

The network says they aren’t just caving to public pressure, but made the decision because they feel “it is the right thing to do.”

We wondered earlier what changed Wednesday night and Hofheimer has an answer.

“It is not one specific thing. The criminal news today is part of the ongoing evolution of the story we’ve been monitoring. We will lead our reports tonight about this with that news, that there will be no criminal investigation into the allegations.”

In a PFT first, our fearless leader Mr. Florio requested to be quoted with his response. From a Green Day concert.

“They are twisting the facts,” Florio writes. “The story is not that there will be no investigation. It’s that there won’t be one absent a criminal complaint.”