Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf criticized Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s decision to visit a barbershop following a workout with his teammates.
During his daily briefing Tuesday, Wolf said no resident in Pennsylvania “ought to take that chance.” Many counties in the state, including Allegheny, are currently in the “yellow” phase of reopening, which excludes barbershops and hair salons.
Those businesses will be allowed to reopen once counties have advanced to the “green” phase during the coronavirus pandemic.
“My concern is just a general concern,” Wolf said. “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. I certainly don’t want to take that chance myself.”
Roethlisberger and the Steelers posted a 38-second video on social media Monday of the franchise quarterback throwing passes to his teammates at a high school football field, which marked a significant milestone in his recovery from surgery on his throwing elbow last year.
After showing the veteran signal-caller tossing passes to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back James Conner, the video cut to Roethlisberger in a barber’s chair as he was getting his beard trimmed. He previously pledged not to shave his beard or cut his hair until he could throw a “legit NFL pass” to his teammates.
In a statement on behalf of “Norman’s Cuttin’ Edge Barbershop,” where Roethlisberger went to get his haircut and beard trimmed, attorney Marc Kohnen said the establishment has been closed since Wolf’s shutdown order.
“Carlos Norman has been a community fixture and local business owner since 1993,” Kohnen wrote in a statement. “Norman’s Cuttin’ Edge Barber Shop has been closed for business since the governor’s shutdown order, and presently remains closed in full compliance with the law and state regulations.
“Mr. Norman and Mr. Roethlisberger are close personal friends, and Mr. Norman’s use of his free time during closure to provide a haircut to his friend was a personal favor where no money was received or exchanged.”