Giving Maurkice Pouncey The Benefit Of The Doubt

By Matthew Marczi

The reaction to Maurkice Pouncey and his twin brother Mike Pouncey’s decision to don baseball caps sporting the phrase “Free Hernandez” has been both swift and harsh. Certainly the photos of the two at a Saturday night party sporting the attire do not reflect kindly upon themselves, nor their organizations. But perhaps we all have jumped to conclusions before getting all of the facts. I, for one, am inclined to give Pouncey the benefit of the doubt upon reflection.

The phrase, of course, is in reference to former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, with whom the Pouncey twins played in college. Mike and Hernandez were roommates, and the three were known to be friends.

In fact, the twins were present during one incident at a nightclub in 2007. A shooting left two men wounded, and Hernandez was briefly questioned by the police, but was not ruled to be a suspect at the time.

Given the history between the three, just about everybody—including myself—immediately jumped to the conclusion that the baseball caps were a demonstration of blind faith in the general goodness of their friend. There is, after all, a presumption of innocence until proven guilty in this country, and one is free to support anybody one chooses.

But yesterday Maurkice issued a public apology for the incident that caused me to view the circumstances in a different light. Here is that statement in full, which was written on his Twitter account:

“I fully recognize the seriousness of the situation involving my former teammate, and I regret that my actions appear to make light of that serious situation. I apologize to anyone who was offended by my actions.”

There are two key phrases in this statement that lead me to believe that the hats were not, in fact, a show of support for a friend, but rather a heavy handed attempt at some black humor.

For one, Maurkice says that he apologizes to those who were offended by his actions. Generally, people who are expressing a controversial opinion that they believe enough to display in public are not overly concerned with offending people. Thus, it would not exactly warrant a formal apology.

Secondly, he says that his actions may “appear to make light” of the Hernandez situation; perhaps it was intended to make light of the situation. Perhaps the case against Hernandez, in their eyes, is so damning that to don such a hat would have to be absurd, and thus, in some way, humorous.

It could, too, have tied in to the court ruling that unfolded earlier on that Saturday in the George Zimmerman murder trial. The jury found Zimmerman not guilty on all counts, and he is now a free man. There are many around the country who were baffled by the ruling; perhaps the Pounceys were among them.

Yesterday, I wrote about a Tweet posted, and then quickly deleted, by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, which intimated, essentially, that if Zimmerman was innocent, then perhaps Hernandez is, too.

I joked that, in the spirit of the hats being a reflection of support, it was unlikely that Pouncey saw that Tweet and decided to kick it up a notch. Perhaps he saw it, perhaps not. But it is possible that the hats were a gag in the same, arguably tasteless, vein as Mathieu’s Tweet.

Now, much of what I wrote about the incident yesterday still applies. His behavior, including his poor attempts at humor, are still a reflection upon his employer for which he is responsible. And he still must understand that he lives in a different world as a public figure than the rest of us. And, of course, if he was indeed showing support for Hernandez, he is entitled to do so, if he is willing to accept the consequences. But, in light of his statement, it seems to me that it was just a bad joke that fell flat.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • George Armstrong

    I’m sure Hitler had his friends too…

  • steeltown

    Im not sure I agree that it was an attempt at humor…and whether or not he was concerned with offending people im inclined to believe that he made the formal apology because the Team told him to

    CANT WAIT for Training Camp!

  • S Cress

    I think it is unlikely that Pouncey wrote the apology himself — probably a PR person crafted it. It is a stretch to try to find the subtle meaning in words that might not even be his own. It was a stupid move, but forgivable — we all make mistakes.

  • Kevin Jameson

    This is not giving someone the benefit of the doubt. This is finding reasons to forgive someone’s brazenly stupid actions.

    The “I apologize to anyone who was offended by my actions,” statement is the least heartfelt and meaningful level of apology that exists. Nothing indicates a forced apology quite like it.

    Ultimately, it’s not an apology.

    To issue an apology to “anyone who was offended” is to say you’re sorry some people out there just can’t see the joke or you’re sorry that some people just don’t like it. This “apology” in no way suggests a line of reasoning like, “Wow that was dumb. Hernandez might have killed two people and I’m wearing a hat advocating his freedom.” Which would have led to an apology like, “I made a mistake. Wearing this hat was in poor taste, and I realize that attempting to make light of this serious situation is wrong. I regret my actions and I’m sorry.”

    To your second point, the idea that the Pouncey brothers are absurd humorists is, well, absurd.

    Pouncey issued this “apology” because of the backlash from people on Twitter and (as the statement didn’t come until after he met with team officials) the Steelers front office, not because he cares about a public display of support for an accused killer.

  • Paul

    The problem with the Pounceys’ hats is that they had to be made. They must have thought it through. I can appreciate the fact that they know Hernandez but this isn’t a traffic ticket or DUI that he’s in for, it’s murder. They obviously are alright supporting an alleged killer. I wonder what happened in 2007 and were they involved? I think they lack respect for human life and are only sorry because their agents made them do it.

  • Doni609

    Seems to me that the author of this mindless article is also a bad joke that fell flat. What moronic drivel. The Steelers should ‘sit’ him for the first four games of the regular season and rescind those game checks.

  • SteelersDepot

    For wearing a hat? Sounds like YOU are the mindless one.

  • steeltown

    Sit him for four games?… thanks

  • Christopher Wilkes

    LOL @ the possibility of Maurkice writing that apology.

  • walter mason

    I am among those that jumped to conclusions. Maybe I just needed to prepare for a worst case scenario. Deep down inside, I believe Maurkice Pouncey is innocent of any involvement in drugs or knowlege of violent gangland slayings. Hernendez may be a different story and its possible he kept his gangster life a secret from the twins.. I truly believe Pouncey is innocent. But I still hope he talks to a lawyer before any possible questioning or deposition.

    Sorry Maurkice. Your a Steeler and I support you. Just dont be foolish. Do the right thing.

  • Fr33th1nk3r

    LOL. Did Pouncey’s publicist write this article? Or the same person who wrote his “apology” for him?

    The only reason he issued that apology was because the team talked to him about his poor decision making and his agent probably advised him he is at risk of losing sponsors and contracts on the side. $$$$ is the only language most of these apes in the NFL understand.

    His online apology back in 2011 was almost as heartfelt. If you recall, some fans blasted him on Twitter for promoting his rap album the day after we lost to Tebow, and he responded with some typical thuggish “Fxxk you, you just wannabe me” crappola.

    Now, retard is out publicly supporting the release of a multiple, execution-style murderer. Not only that, but he and his oaf of a brother obstructed the police investigation into the 2007 Hernandez shooting.

    I realize the Steelers need him badly this year, but….I was a fan of descent human beings who don’t support criminal enterprises (like Chris Rainey– another of Pouncey’s “crew”), long before I became a Steeler fan.

    I won’t shed too many tears when this azzhat leaves town for good. Matter of fact, I wouldn’t be too hurt of somebody took out that glass ankle of his for good and ended his million-dollar thug career.

  • Fr33th1nk3r

    You didn’t jump to conclusions– that was the logic/ethics center in your brain warning you that you are supporting a thug just because he plays for the sports brand you cheer for.

  • Fr33th1nk3r

    Mindless, DEPOT? Might want to take a look in the mirror….
    You cheer for a thug and supporter of a multiple execution style murderer– simply because he plays for a sports brand you cheer for. Sad to see that Monday morning bragging rights are more important to you than ethics.

  • Fr33th1nk3r

    Ding! Ding! Ding! We have us a winner!

    Most of us can excuse heat of the moment “oops” or stupid youthful stuff done out of passion. Lots of us have also had DUIs, gotten into drunk fights etc.

    However, as you said, wearing specially made hats, shows premeditation and forethought. and that both morons came to the faulty conclusion that it would be cool to wear hats supporting a multiple murderer.

    You can coach and mentor youthful mistakes away, but there is no cure for “stupid”.

  • Fr33th1nk3r

    Very well stated.

  • Fr33th1nk3r

    Not really forgiveable– this was not something done out of passion or in the heat of the moment. Both guys had to have those hats specially printed or ordered. Their stupidity was premeditated. There is no fix for that.

  • Fr33th1nk3r

    We should have drafted Alex Mack in 2009 instead of Ziggy Hood.

  • Fr33th1nk3r

    Another good point to make that further highlights Pouncey’s blatant stupidity:

    He keeps falling back on the “old teammates” or “old friends” rationale in his statements and in his apology.

    Why aren’t any of the Patriots players wearing one of those red dunce caps too? Hernandez has been though a couple seasons with them, almost gone to two Superbowls with the Pats– I am sure he had some friends there too.

    Our relationship to a criminal does justify supporting them. If my own son did what Hernandez did, I would take him out back and shoot him myself.

  • steeltown

    Lets remember he’s not a convicted “multiple murder”…atleast not at this moment. I seem to remember this old saying, ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ I think society has a real problem with this..

    Im not saying I personally think Hernandez is innocent, but he hasn’t been convicted of anything just yet.

  • Chris Ward

    Definitely not the best use of judgement by Pouncey. Hopefully this is all put away after Pouncey addresses the media at camp and everyone can just focus about the season then.

  • walter mason

    They can still be friends. They can visit him in prison and send him money. They may also want to send money to his girlfriend and child. Maybe they could have a marriage in prison.

  • SteelersDepot

    You are a joke for wanting a player suspended for four games for wearing a freaking hat. Put down the dope.

  • JT

    Again, how do you know THEY made them? We don’t. That’s jumping to a conclusion. They could have just as easily been brought to the party by a friend.

  • steeltown

    Who said the Pouncey brothers personally had them made? I haven’t read that anywhere… and im sorry but poor judgment and stupidity IS definitely forgivable

  • Jeffery Fierceblues Rahn

    It was not some kid fooling around wearing a controversial hat. He is tight with his friend Hernandez who is a banger. By wearing the lid he was supporting his homey, the accused murderer, because that is what you do when your “boi” is in trouble. He was not contrite about wearing the hat in face of public outrage and in fact dumped a ton of Steelers fan on Facebook, when they called him on it. Immaturity…..yes, part of it…..the other part was maintaining street “cred” in a thug world.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I don’t think it is especially important why or with whom the statement was written, to be honest. It just makes no sense to say that you were making light of the situation if what you were actually doing was advocating for the innocence of somebody charged with murder, because, well, that’s the exact opposite of making light. That’s suggesting that an injustice was done in arresting him. That is what led me to believe that the sentiment may have been insincere.

  • walter mason

    Here is something about tatoos and a video where Hernendez mentions his best friends the Pounceys.
    Im not trying to bash anyone. This is all online. Lets get it out and get it over with.

    Try this …the CBS video

  • Matthew Marczi

    Pardon me, but I in no way wrote anything about “forgiveness” in my article. In fact, I do not believe that I am in any position to even grant forgiveness. I don’t know that he needs to be forgiven. Wearing a hat is not a crime.

    The sincerity of the apology is also not important here. I merely wrote that I believe the sentiment behind the hats may be insincere based on the wording in the statement. I honestly don’t care if he’s actually sorry; it’s none of my concern.

    You don’t have be be an “absurd humorist” to wear such a hat. Absurdity is humorous to us as a natural phenomenon and does not require any kind of intellectual rigor. It’s not like I’m intimating that Pouncey sat down with his brother brainstorming what kind of absurdity they could come up with for their party.

    The fact of the matter is that we all jumped to conclusions without knowing the truth. Maybe it was an ill-advised gag, maybe it wasn’t. I just put it out there after reading his ‘apology’ and noting the verbiage.

  • Matthew Marczi

    If it was indeed a joke, then they were not “supporting an alleged killer”; which, by the way, they are entitled to do anyway. In fact, you are entitled to support a convicted killer if you want to.

    Unless somebody at the party had the hats made up of their own volition and handed them to the Pounceys there, then of course it was done with forethought. But that does not necessarily mean that it was done with the intent to support Hernandez. It might have been a gag.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Forethought applies equally to the idea that the hats were a gag, so citing “premeditation” for the argument that the hats were a display of support is no more valid than suggesting that it indicates insincerity.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Would you care to elaborate on the mindlessness and moronic nature of my drivel? You have not actually presented any criticisms; you’ve merely hurled empty ad hominems at my writing, and ad hominems do not merit a counterargument.

  • Matthew Marczi

    As I wrote in reply to somebody else, I do not believe that it is especially important why or with whom Pouncey wrote the ‘apology’. What I was going off of was the wording.

    It just makes no sense to say that you were making light of the situation if what you were actually doing was advocating for the innocence of somebody charged with murder, because, well, that’s the exact opposite of making light. That’s suggesting that an injustice was done in arresting him. That is what led me to believe that the sentiment may have been insincere.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Whether or not the ‘apology’ was “heartfelt” is irrelevant. It is the wording that matters, because it suggests something other than what we all assumed. It just makes no sense to say that you were making light of the situation if what you were actually doing was advocating for the innocence of somebody charged with murder, because, well, that’s the exact opposite of making light. That’s suggesting that an injustice was done in arresting him. That is what led me to believe that the sentiment may have been insincere.

  • Kevin Jameson

    How to interpret this? You say that the sincerity of the apology is not important and that you only wrote that you believed the sentiment behind the hats may not be insincere… based on the wording of statement. How can you draw an opinion on his “sentiment” based on a statement that you think may or may not be sincere?

    In any event, I’m hard pressed to believe that anyone jumped to conclusions. It’s not as though the hat was ambiguous: it said FREE HERNANDEZ. It isn’t incumbent on the rest of us to interpret whether or not it’s meant as a joke. If I wear a shirt that says “9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB” I can’t blame someone on the street for believing I’m a 9/11 truther, even if it’s supposed to be a joke.

    It’s Pouncey’s responsibility to make better choices as an employee of the Steelers. Guilt or innocence of Hernandez aside, It was a stupid thing for Pouncey to have worn, and the apology reads like standard PR copy.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Ah, yes, you see, I agree with most of what you said. Particularly everything after the first sentence of the second paragraph.

    Yes, of course, the message on the hat was as unambiguous as possible. As you allude to, it was the intention behind the message that was ambiguous. And you’re absolutely right that it isn’t incumbent on anybody to interpret it, as your hypothetical astutely demonstrates.

    Additionally, as I wrote at the end of my article, I agree with you that it is Pouncey’s responsibility to make better choices. And, ultimately, yeah, it was probably a pretty dumb thing to do regardless of whether or not the sentiment was sincere.

    Where we disagree, first off, is your suggestion that nobody jumped to conclusions. It’s quite clear that everybody did. We all saw a picture of the Pounceys wearing hats that said “Free Hernandez”, and we jumped to the conclusion that they were supporting their friend. Maybe they were, after all, but I think there’s reason to believe it’s possible that they were not.

    As per your first paragraph, I said that the apology itself was likely insincere, not necessarily the entire statement. On the other hand, I do not find any reason to doubt him when he writes about his actions “making light” of a situation that he repeatedly refers to as “serious”.

    It just makes no sense to say that you were making light of the situation if what you were actually doing was advocating for the innocence of somebody charged with murder, because that’s the exact opposite of making light. That’s suggesting that an injustice was done in arresting him. That is what led me to believe that the sentiment on the hats may have been insincere.

    The bottom line here is that my concern is simply getting at the truth, whatever that might be. I don’t particularly care, in all honesty, whether the hats were a display of support for his friend or if they were a gag. I do not consider the issue my business on a personal level, and I believe he is entitled to do either as long as he is willing to accept the consequences with respect to public backlash. As long as he’s committing no crimes himself, his only worry here is public opinion, and perhaps endorsement deals and a “stern talking-to” from the front office.

    Finally, I just want to add that I appreciate the fact that your response was tactful and respectful. As you can clearly see, I’m getting kicked around a bit here in the comments section for the suggestion that I proposed in this article.

  • Kevin Jameson

    Indeed, reasonable discourse is not often welcome on the internet. Thanks for your veneration, and right back at you.

    You can say people jumped to conclusions if you want, but the hat had a clear message, and Pouncey and Hernandez were friends and teammates at Florida. With this in mind, nobody can be blamed for assuming this was a sign of support for Hernandez. Interpreting this as a show of support for Hernandez is totally reasonable. And this is why the sincerity of his apology matters. If he’s merely apologizing for offending people and not for wearing a hat and making a joke at the expense of a very serious issue (which is what I believe, based upon the statement), it’s understandable for people to have a problem with it.

    I think our biggest point of contention is that you take the “apology” at face value, and I think it’s the product of someone in the front office saying, “If you want to play for this team going forward, you’ll tweet out this apology our PR person typed up for you.”

    This is turning into a very semantic and philosophical discussion.

  • walter mason

    Mike has yet to apologize.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I suppose I could have used a better phrase than “jumping to conclusions”, because it often has a negative connotation. I didn’t mean to imply that anybody was in the wrong for “jumping to the conclusion” that Pouncey was showing support. Like I said, I jumped to the same conclusion. We jump to conclusions all the time, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. In fact, it’s a necessary thing. In this instance, the reaction was indeed understandable.

    I don’t know if the ‘apology’ came before or after he was spoken to by the team, but I have no reason to think that it wasn’t the result of said meeting. I’m certainly well aware that Pouncey may not even remotely be sorry for what he did. And not only are people entitled to believe that (I honestly don’t think he’s sorry either), but I agree that people are more than entitled to have a problem with that too.

    I do think that Pouncey was at least involved in formulating the statement that he released, even if it was mandated and advised by the front office. Honestly, I would expect better wording and sentence structure if it was written by a PR person, and I also don’t think a PR person would have talked about making light of the situation.

    By the way, I forgot to mention in the original article that “Free So-and-So” is sort of a meme, and “Free Hernandez” has already been used weeks ago. I’ve come across multiple Tweets with the hashtag “#FreeHernandez” with a picture of him holding up guns looking all ‘gangster’, or in him being led away in handcuffs, suggesting that it’s a joke. This may or may not have been a reaction to Patriots fans actually using the phrase in earnest (there were fans outside the courthouse shouting “Free Hernandez” at his arraignment I believe).

  • Matthew Marczi

    I forgot to mention in the original article that “Free So-and-So” is sort of a meme, and “Free Hernandez” has already been used weeks ago. I’ve come across multiple Tweets with the hashtag “#FreeHernandez” with a picture of him holding up guns looking all ‘gangster’, or in him being led away in handcuffs, suggesting that it’s a joke. This may or may not have been a reaction to Patriots fans actually using the phrase in earnest (there were fans outside the courthouse shouting “Free Hernandez” at his arraignment I believe).

  • Jazz

    Like I said in another post, this is the second time this kid has said or done something stupid in the public eye. I can’t wait until he talks with Mr. Rooney, the GM, and the Coach.

  • Josh

    oh yay. another self-righteous fan who ONLY roots for the morally superior players on any given NFL team. So, hopefully the Steelers call 100% run plays for this guy so he doesn’t have to cheer BR7 at all. You either watch & support this sport or you don’t, warts and all, b/c ALL teams have them.

  • SteelSpine

    That draft I agree now but hindsight is 20/20. Because Alex Mack plays center Mack was probly lower-ranked than where we were drafting. But it shows the rankings don’t always hold true.

  • SteelSpine

    Holy crap you keep finding gems (the links), jeez I didn’t know so many facts are out Hernandez’ link that tie him to the latest murder that I hope it doesn’t jeopardize the trial.

  • SteelSpine

    Wow that’s another/source of more details/facts. Seems like if some of these facts or links to them had been included in any of the many articles on here about Hernandez & Pouncey’s link, it would have helped to have it upfront. So thanks for catching these & I’m glad they let ya include your links to it.

  • Shea Fahr

    Matt, I like some of the things you write about but can you please just write an article focused about how incredibly STUPID this was of the Pouncey’s to do???…and just focus on that? If your goal is to get clicks, then fine and I understand that but come on man, this is ridiculous…I do still like a lot of your pieces about the Steelers though.

  • Shea Fahr

    He should not be suspended but I do think it is important that Credible blogs like Steelers Depot and Steelers Nation Fans should keep pounding him about how dumb it was to do this…I think it is happening now.

  • Shea Fahr


  • Matthew Marczi

    This is true. Certainly nobody is denying that he has some maturity issues with respect to how he conducts and portrays himself in public venues.

  • Matthew Marczi

    The goal of this article was actually to police myself. I didn’t feel like I did the subject its due diligence the first time around by immediately jumping to one conclusion without exploring other possibilities. My only goal here at Steelers Depot is to at least try to get at the truth in my articles, and part of that in this case was considering other possible explanations. I can honestly say with a clear conscience that nothing I’ve ever written on this site was aimed at being deliberately controversial or provocative.

    I don’t feel like I am in the position to serve as a moral beacon or anything here. So I’m sorry to say, but you will never see an article from me specifically calling out a player for being a knucklehead unless it becomes a team issue. I really try my best to stay objective when I’m writing, and to keep my opinions to myself unless I have the facts to support them, and even then only when it applies to football matters (like position battles, statistical projections, etc.) I do understand that many fans, rightfully, have strong reactions to players doing things that they think is stupid or irresponsible, and they are free to express that in the comments. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I hope you understand my position.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Don’t you think the PR department knows that too? Obviously, their best angle would be to make it seem like it was a joke, and the statement(apology) he issued seems to fit that angle perfectly.

  • SteelersDepot

    Yes, isn’t strange that both Hernandez and the Pouncey twins all have tattoos.

  • walter mason

    Im just trying to get to the truth. Thanks for allowing me to post links.. Its possible that the love of tatoos brought them together and not the love of the gangster lifestyle.

  • walter mason

    Football stars are not angels. We cant expect them all to be. Wasnt it Chuck Noll that made a statement that the way some of his players play the game border on criminal? I think he was referring to the play of Mel Blount.

    Football is a tough game. Its a mans game. Its not tag football. We cant expect the players of such a tough game to be angels. Ernie Holmes was protected because we needed him. Protecting these players is certainly much harder today in the age of information and may no longer be possible.

    I can tell you this that the Tribune forum is heavily censored. I posted a small piece about Ernie Holmes a while back and it was promptly deleted. You may want to decide what is best for SteelersDepot moving into the future. Maybe a piece can be written discussing this to see what the readers prefer.

    If we keep expecting our players to be angels, gone will be the Mel Blounts, Ernie Holmes, and James Harrisons. Is this what we want? Although I could do without Jack Tatum and George Atkinson lol, they are the types of players we need on our team in a tough game.. Maybe someday far off in the future, football stadiums could fall out of favor like the Roman Collesium. Will we be happy then?

  • walter mason

    We are learning as we go. Im not sure I want to search any further. It will all come out eventually.

  • walter mason

    Any chance of posting the pics?

  • Matthew Marczi

    Yes, I’ve linked to a few images in my next article, which will probably be posted in a couple hours.

  • walter mason

    Its something to consider Matthew and I think you are trying to stick up for Maurkice. Thats honorable but Im not sure I agree on the humor because that would be pretty sick to make light of a serious situation involving a friend. Unless they think his entire arrest was a joke and he will soon be vindicated. Supporting this friend is somewhat honorable but making humor of this serious situation would be sick..

  • SteelSpine

    Hernandez has a “bloods” tattoo & photo of him wearing bloods gear & doing a bloods symbol. You’re right we all do that. And in an interview Hernandez says best friends with both Pounceys. Too bad you didn’t bother to see his links before writing about them.

  • SteelSpine

    Well Shea on that we agree, top to bottom. Including I too like alotta Matt’s articles.

  • SteelSpine

    Exactly, your post there kept it on balance. Many players in the old days had shaky behavior, but most didn’t brag about it in front of photographers. I’m talkin cameras not YouTube. But that doesn’t mean every fan has to condone it & make excuses for what Hernandez & Pouncey did in fronta cameras.

    In articles about player gang behavior I’d like to see a mention that somehow Troy Polamolu was an all-pro for many years & was a tough guy on the field who never backed down, yet somehow Troy did it without supporting the bloods gang. Just to show a guy can be a tough player without supporting murders.

  • SteelSpine

    Polomalu is proof a player can be the best at his position, plus be a tough guy on the field (note times Troy was ready to square off went up to players who cheap-shotted), without supporting gang behavior. There have been many-more people taking photos of Troy than who want to photo Pouncey, yet Polomalu gets his picture taken thout supporting gang behavior which Pouncey did.

  • JPDQ

    I’ve made my thoughts pretty clear on the previous, multiple articles about Pouncey and his blatant stupidity. You can’t spin this or rationalize it in any way. I don’t give people the “benefit of the doubt” after repeated examples of them being a moron. Way too many fans do exactly that, which is a big reason professional sports continue to spiral out of control. Simply put, we enable this behavior because owners, coaches, corporations, ad agencies, FANS – all continue to overlook it for our own personal satisfaction and agendas.

    And yes, as someone in the PR field, his “apology” is garbage. It says nothing of any substance, and to try and read into it for subtle meanings is quite a stretch. The Pounceys are about as deep as a puddle… He issued a statement b/c either his agent or the Steelers PR office directed it.

  • SteelersDepot

    Too bad you didn’t see me link to that on Twitter when it first posted along with the TMZ piece on the “bloods” tattoo. Please go elsewhere to troll.

  • walter mason

    Go check out the Trib forum. Talk about humor. You guys may get a chuckle out of this lol. Its a reply about the Free Hernendez hats story. Im still shaking my head lol. Made my day.

    Here is a copy and paste:

    Rich Rosen · Brookfield, Wisconsin

    “I had no idea that former MLB player Keith Hernandez was
    incarcerated. Is it because of tax evasion or something like that? It’s great to
    see the Pouncey brothers supporting retired athletes from other sports than
    their own”

  • walter mason

    Im not going to keep posting on this subject because its best to let it die out at this point but I have one more link to post by Jason Whitlock. Its a very good read and it explains how the Pounceys are both good kids that are swept up in a culture they don’t fully understand and don’t fully respect its impact.

    “Hitting a nightclub while wearing mindlessly rebellious “Free Hernandez” baseball caps is straight from the in-your-face, shock-value, prison culture/hip hop culture playbook. It screams the Pounceys place no value on Odin Lloyd’s life. He’s just another dead N-word who got his cap peeled by a homie.”

    “The father of rap music, Dahveed Nelson, said commercial rappers are high-paid collaborators to bait black youth to act like N-words. The Pounceys have only swallowed a tiny bit of the bait. But they’ve swallowed enough to think it’s cool and appropriate to support an alleged murderer.”

    …Pawns in a Twisted Rap Game

  • Matthew Marczi

    I actually wrote about this in my last article. A slight mix-up delayed its being posted, but it will be posted in the morning.