EXCLUSIVE: Ben Roethlisberger Won't Become Helmet Advocate

ByABC News via logo
July 14, 2006, 7:50 AM

July 14, 2006 — -- A month ago, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger scared his team -- also family, friends and fans -- when he was seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident.

In an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America," the quarterback told Robin Roberts why he had forgotten his helmet that fateful day and why he wouldn't become an advocate for helmet safety.

Roethlisberger suffered a 9-inch laceration to the head, multiple facial fractures, and serious knee damage June 12 when a car ran into him in downtown Pittsburgh.

He expects to make a full recovery and be ready for training camp, which begins July 28 at St. Vincent College, near Latrobe, Pa.

"I'm doing well," Roethlisberger said. "I'm feeling a little bit better every day, and I'm still amazing the doctors every time I go to see them 'cause they are just amazed at how fast I'm progressing."

The reason why the youngest quarterback ever to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory wasn't wearing his helmet that day -- a fact that baffles many -- was simply that he forgot.

"You know, it's one of those things that sometimes I did wear a helmet and sometimes I didn't," Roethlisberger said.

"Actually, that morning I was on my way to work out, and I had just gotten my bike all custom done. It was painted up, and it was really nice. And I was supposed to take my helmet that day with me to take it to get it painted to match the bike so I could wear it all the time when I rode that bike. And I totally forgot it that day," he said.

Don't look for Roethlisberger, however, to do any public service announcements about the importance of wearing a helmet.

"I don't think that that's my place," he said. "You know, I think that some people feel that, you know, I probably should be doing that and being a big advocate for that. But for me, you know, I'm going to let people make their own decision 'cause I think that's what it's about."

Right now, Roethlisberger said, he doesn't even want to think about riding a motorcycle again.