FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - FEBRUARY 06: Michael Irvin is seen on stage during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010 Press Conference held at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center as part of media week for Super Bowl XLIV on February 6, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Fresh off his own legal ordeal, which culminated last month in prosecutors opting against any sexual assault charges stemming from an alleged incident three years ago, Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin sat down with CBS's The Early Show today to discuss the current situation of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger was recently accused of sexual misconduct stemming from an incident in an Atlanta-area night club. A civil suit against the two-time Super Bowl winner, based on a previous incident with a woman in Lake Tahoe, is pending.
"You start saying, 'Wow, I have to tighten my circle, make sure I put good people around me and people to watch over everything that goes on,'" Irvin said. "Ben did that in this situation. He brought the guards with him. But he made a mistake and allowed himself to be alone at any time with anybody, without those security guards in the room."
Irvin, speaking to Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith, didn't exactly sugar-coat the potentially pernicious effects of allowing oneself to be put into such a shadowy situation. This, again, is a facet of life in the public eye which Irvin knows all too well.
"It's okay to be afraid because the reality is, we would like to think that you're innocent until proven guilty," Irvin said, "but that's not necessarily the case when things do hit the paper like they're hitting the paper for Ben right now."