As I mentioned in an earlier post, Ben Roethlisberger might have escaped prosecution in an alleged sexual assault, but his reputation has already been damaged.

Former Steelers great Terry Bradshaw had some very harsh criticisms of Roethlisberger on Monday. Here’s video, courtesy of KTBS in Shreveport, Louisiana:

That says it all, doesn’t it? I mean, say what you want about Bradshaw, but he seems like the kind of guy who wouldn’t just choose not to like you because you’ve filled his shoes. I don’t think this is jealousy that Big Ben has made a push for his records. This is simply proof that Roethlisberger is a jerk.

People hate jerks. They might hate rapists more, but they also hate jerks. We can’t call Roethlisberger a rapist, or even a criminal, but he’ll be forever known as a great quarterback … and a jerk.

In case you’re reading this on a Commodore 64 and don’t have the ability to watch the video, here’s the full text of Bradshaw’s comments. I’ve bolded the parts which hit me the hardest:

I’m going to be real careful here, because this could make national news. Our relationship is not any good. When I told him to park the motorcycle, he got pissed. Then he had the accident, and since then he doesn’t like me and I’m learning not to like him.

And he wants to break all my records and I say break ‘em, I really don’t care. I’ve done my job, my job is over and now you have your shot. But he has got to — in my opinion — he has got to realize who he is. He is an elite athlete in the National Football League. He is under a magnificent spotlight and he’s got to be careful about what he does in the offseason.

The best advice my dad gave me: he said, you are a Bradshaw, don’t you dare embarrass the family name. Because he knew the temptations would be out there. I hardly ever went to a club in 14 years in Pittsburgh — can count ‘em on one hand. And I was petrified of the problems you can get into, and almost got into some, it’s there believe me.

And there’s nothing greater, if you’re single, than to walk into a bar with beautiful women and have ‘em just fill your ego up. And you ask yourself, would they pay any attention to you if you weren’t who you are? And of course not, because I’m not that attractive and neither is Ben. So it’s nice that you can do that, but he’s gotta be careful.

I don’t want to give him any advice because he’s not going to pay attention to me but he is, in my way of thinking, this is the second time in two years. Man, thank God if he gets out of this thing. I suppose there was no suit filed today, they dropped it. Okay, he’s got an image problem right now. Best thing to do is don’t ever put yourself in that position again. When you’re through playing football, do whatever you want to do but right now, stay clean. Stay out of trouble, stay out of bars. Keep yourself clean.

You’ve got players and owners and coaches and the whole city of Pittsburgh — this is two times in two years. Ya know, he hasn’t been charged. But it’s the accusations, it’s assumptions. It’s like when Tony Romo went to Mexico. The perception is if the Cowboys lose the playoff game it’s because Tony was in Mexico. The perception is that if Ben’s had two of these, there’s got to be some guilt there somewhere. That’s the perception, right or wrong. So the only you way you can clean that up, you’ve gotta just stay out of it. Fight the temptation and stay away from those places.

Because once would scare me to death. Twice, I don’t know how you sleep, I couldn’t handle that. And so that’s my take on it and now he hates me forever.