PITTSBURGH, June 10 (UPI) -- Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, in his first interview since being handed a six-game suspension, issued an apology to the team's fans Thursday.
Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a Georgia nightclub this year and although no charges were filed in the incident, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
The quarterback consented to an interview with two Pittsburgh television stations Thursday.
"I've wanted to apologize for so many things," Roethlisberger said. "For being immature, for being dumb, for being young, not knowing any better, for getting caught up with everything that was still in my way.
"I didn't want to gain the whole world and lose my soul and that's what I was doing.
"From the bottom of my heart, I know I haven't been the best person, the best quarterback for the Steelers. I'm not just talking on the field, I'm talking off the field. I try my best and hardest to be a good role model with the kids and do things in the community, but I know I can be even better. That's what I want to do."
The interview came the day after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation released more than 50 taped interviews pertaining to the sexual assault case.
Goodell has ordered Roethlisberger to undergo behavioral evaluation as part of the suspension. The commissioner has said he might reduce the suspension to four games, but if Roethlisberger does not cooperate, the suspension could be lengthened.
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