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Call it the haircut heard ’round the country, as NFL star player Ben Roethlisberger decided it was time for a trim.
In violation of “state rules,” the Pittsburgh Steelers star quarterback broke pandemic restrictions recently by paying a visit to an Allegheny County barbershop, according to Fox News.
A visit that drew a rebuke from Pennsylvania’s Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.
The Steelers shared a video online Monday of Roethlisberger throwing passes to his teammates JuJu Smith-Schuster, Ryan Switzer, and James Conner.
The beard is trimmed…
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 18, 2020
The player, who had season-ending surgery on his elbow last year, had pledged not to cut his hair until he could throw a “legit NFL pass” to a teammate, as seen in the video.
Upon realizing that goal, “Big Ben,” as Roethlisberger is known, is captured sitting in a barbershop getting a hair cut and a trim of his beard.
This is were Gov. Wolf comes in, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette asked the governor at a briefing if the barber will “face disciplinary action [and] is the state investigating?”
Hey, this is what passes as “journalism” these days — as if Pennsylvania doesn’t have more pressing priorities amid a national crisis.
— Steelers Depot 🧐 (@Steelersdepot) May 19, 2020
“My concern is just a general concern,” Wolf replied. “Anybody who puts himself or herself into harm’s way is something that I think we have to try to avoid. When you go to something like a barbershop and you’re not protected, I don’t care who you are, the chances of that virus actually wreaking havoc on your life increases.
“I don’t personally think any Pennsylvanian ought to take that chance,” he continued. “I certainly don’t want to take that chance myself.”
Of course, there was nothing to indicate that the barbershop was open to the public, and the owner’s attorney, Marc Kohnen, confirmed in a statement that it was not.
“Carlos Norman has been a community fixture and local business owner since 1993. Norman’s Cuttin’ Edge Barber Shop has been closed for business since the governor’s shut-down order, and presently remains closed, in full compliance with the law and state regulations,” the statement said.
Statement on behalf of Carlos Norman, owner of Norman’s Cuttin’ Edge Barber Shop, on Ben Roethlisberger’s haircut and beard trim:
Norman says the shop remains closed and the haircut was given as a “personal favor” where no money was received or exchanged. pic.twitter.com/IREjJJsoQk
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) May 19, 2020
“Mr. Norman and Mr. Roethlisberger are close personal friends,” the release added, “and Mr.Norman’s use of his free time during closure to provide haircut to his friend was a personal favor where no money was received or exchanged.”
“We should all look within ourselves to celebrate and be thankful for the existence of family, community and personal friends to lend a hand in each of our lives at this time rather than promote stories that divide us,” the statement concluded.
The response seen online suggested that there was far more outrage over the heavy-handed actions of government officials than a man giving a friend a haircut.
Here’s a sampling from Twitter:
It’s a damn shame this man had to say anything about giving someone a hair cut
— jmarz (@jmarz412) May 19, 2020
This is nonsense…the real question is why the Pennsylvania physician general removed her mother from a nursing home while Governor Tom Wolf was forcing Covid patients into them. That is a scandal not this.
— Michael (@BballMichael) May 20, 2020
Carlos was my neighbor growing up. Everything his attorney wrote was 100% true. He has helped more youth in our community than the governor ever has.
— Christina Sheleheda (@ChristinaShele) May 20, 2020
This is a disgrace. A honest hard working man feels the need to defend himself against trolls. His business is closed. I went and got a haircut off a neighbor who isn’t a barber or hair dresser. Just because I needed one and I wasn’t that long gone from a hair cut that Ben is
— Mrspooks (@Dunne87Jiang) May 19, 2020
Not getting….It’s been a shit show
— Tony DeBenedetto (@tonyde2121) May 20, 2020
As he stands there with a haircut 😂🤣😂
— Steelforce43 (@Steelforce43) May 19, 2020
An investigation into getting a hair cut? That sounds like communism and a ridiculous waste of time.
— Don Kappel (@Don_Kappel) May 19, 2020
Are we in China?
— Tony (@Fordfan991716) May 20, 2020
This is a new level of stupid. “Disciplinary action”??? The fact that it was even brought up in discussion is embarrassing.
— TheDuke__1 (@TheDuke__1) May 19, 2020
Democrats have to go. Turning Pennsylvania into New Jersey style Socialism. Next thing is he will have people arrested!
— Scott Mousley (@MousleyScott) May 20, 2020
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