Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey Apologizes For Wearing \’Free Hernandez\’ Hat

Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey apologized Tuesday morning via his Twitter account for wearing a “Free Hernandez” hat at his Saturday night birthday party.

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

A photo of Pouncey and his twin brother, Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey, surfaced Sunday of the two wearing the hats that supported former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who stands accused of murder in Massachusetts. The Pouncey\’s were college teammates at the University of Florida with Hernandez.

The photos created quite a stir and John Clayton of ESPN.com reported Sunday afternoon that both the Steelers and the Dolphins were planning to talk to their respective players about the photos.

The Steelers will report to training camp on July 26th, so you can expect that Pouncey will be asked several questions about not only the situation with Hernandez, but his decision to wear the hat as well.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • walter mason

    good

  • SteelerFanInMD

    It sounds like the Steelers already talked to Pouncey.
    Matt Light correctly distanced himself from his former teammate and it would be wise for other players to do the same.

  • Shea Fahr

    I am glad he apologized. I would not be surprised if he is deemed off limits or at least limited to the media until Training Camp is over though. I would love to have been a fly on the wall during his discussion with the Steelers.

  • RMSteeler

    Apologies that state that they apologize only to those who were offended are token apologies. Nobody does sincere apologies anymore?

  • JPDQ

    The classic, “I apologize to those I offended” apology… probably standard verbiage in the NFL’s Rookie Symposium Handbook by now.

    Just take this guy’s Twitter account away already. Still doesn’t get it. It’s pathetic.

  • SteelSpine

    In other words, he apologizes for your all’s reactions to it. If read between the quotes, he just apologizes for the way you took it. It’s the same lawyered-up statement everyone gives after they did something wrong. If ya don’t believe that, U can break down the words:
    – “Situation” might be saying your wrongly accusing Hernandez (per Maurkice).
    – He just regrets “that my actions APPEAR” to you that it makes light.
    – “I apologize for your being offended by my actions” is basically his last sentence.

    To anyone disagreeing I say just read his quotes, nowhere in his quote is he even apologizing for doing it (wearing the hats).

  • SteelSpine

    Exactly. Not everyone caught it. Lawyered up.

  • walter mason

    The apology to the public doesnt concern me as much as he may have to explain it (his Hernendez association and support) all to the judge or jury in the Hernendez trial. I wouldnt be surprised if he was under surveillance and/or his phone was tapped or monitored. Everything he says can and will be used against him in a court of law. Hopefully Maurkice is completely innocent of anything but poor judgement and close association with a violent criminal. He really needs to distance himself from his friend but then again it may be too late for that now and maybe Pouncey realizes this.. Its scary stuff.

  • SteelSpine

    Yep. I’m getting the feeling that Maurkice is gonna be asked in one of the Hernandez’ trials, at-least did Hernandez confess anything to you. Maurkice will be fine, because Ray Lewis was actually a witness & obstructed investigation yet Ray got off.

  • walter mason

    Absolutely. If I was in his shoes, I would have seen a lawyer already.

    The statement released was good IMO. He had to say something.

  • walter mason

    Hopefully he has hired a lawyer. He can afford it.

    I happen to think we the Steelers need to keep Pouncey. Im hoping he is completely innocent but any cop worth his salt will be watching him (and his brother) and digging deep.

    Using the words “former teammate” is very good verbiage but everyone knows the friendship/association is not former.

  • steeltown

    Indeed

  • steeltown

    Well yea, he’s not sorry for wearing it. We’re talking about a former teammate and current friend of his. He is apologetic for causing a disturbance and/or for offending anyone. That’s all we or the organization could ask of him… It is a free country after all

  • walter mason

    Yea he’s sticking by his friend but I hope he’s not willing to go down with the ship. Hernendez is going down. Its time to grab a life raft and save himself.

  • steeltown

    Yea.. I hope its all just support for a friend.. and that he is not involved in any heinous crime.. and obviously if Hernandez is convicted of murder then I hope his stance changes or is atleast muted

  • Clemenzza

    Get rid of the overrated POS. It’s obvious, his stupidity is genetic and can’t be overcome with mediation. This is not the first time this douche has said something he has to regret.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I don’t think we can assume to know anything about the current and recent status of the Pouncey-Hernandez relationship.

  • James Dorsey

    Your life must suck

  • Josh Gustad

    Pouncey represents not only himself, but more importantly the Steelers Organization. When he is out in public he in under the microscope at all times, and he needs to understand that.

  • WilliamSekinger

    He’s entitled to think what he wants about any subject. That’s the way it has always been in America. However there are certain subjects that it is not wise to espouse your views. This was one of those subjects. He’s only guilty of not thinking the situation through before hand. To SteelSpine’s comment below. I’m sure he’s not sorry for his actions, but I’m sure he is sorry he was stupid enough to reveal an unpopular viewpoint in such a public manner.

    I rarely if ever give voice to my own opinions on hot button topics unless I believe there is a great chance to sway someone who is undecided. He should have known his hat would be inflammatory, and not change anyone Else’s opinion.

  • RMSteeler

    I guess it’s better than the Pouncey Twins just getting someone to photoshop the hats in the picture so one says “Free” and the other says “Hernandez”. And then put a cap on the drinker in front that says “Agent”. And then retweeted it, saying “Sorry! xoxo”
    Disclaimer: I sincerly apologize for a little satire and levity in this matter.

  • RMSteeler

    Maybe the teams should have incentives in their contracts for not having a Twitter account. Naw, can’t put a price on ego! They probably have a “conduct unbecoming” to the team clause. I wonder how narrowly those are defined and if there are any social media definitions with any teams? They can’t prevent them from having them because of 1st Amendment, but they should be able to voluntarily agree for an incentive. Don’t think there’d be many takers though.

  • Dr. Dog

    Actually, they COULD legally prevent him from using Twitter if they wanted to. The First Amendment only prevents the GOVERNMENT from legally silencing you, not private organizations or companies. The Steelers are a private organization, and they can make his silence, or lack of a Twitter account, a condition of employment if they want to. It’s not a bad idea in some ways, and maybe more organizations should encourage younger players to focus on football and not self-marketing. Of course, I’m not sure it would have helped here because I think these pictures came out from some other brainiac’s Twitter feed or Flickr page, not from Pouncey’s Twitter account. His dumb move here wasn’t tweeting, it was putting that stupid hat on.

  • Dr. Dog

    I had the same reaction. Written by a publicist. And it comes across that way. He should be allowed to support his friend — who hasn’t been convicted — but even so, his actions were terrible and immature. Even if he wanted to support Hernandez, he should have said, “Recently, in attempting support a former teammate who has been charged with a serious crime, I acted in a flippant and insensitive manner, for which I take full responsibility. I apologize for my insensitivity and the offensive nature of my action. I understand that this is a serious situation in which a person lost his life and should be taken seriously. My reaction was immature. While I strongly support my former teammate’s right to a fair trial and to not be pre-judged, I also understand that I represent the Steelers and the NFL, and that there are ways to support my former teammate and my belief that he is entitled to a fair trial in a manner that is constructive and respectful.”

  • Shea Fahr

    You are correct. It is his right to make an absolute ass of himself and bring a lot of negative attention to a Company that by all accounts has been trying its best to get rid of. He is a Dummy…period.

  • Dr. Dog

    He could learn something about apologizing from the other NFL PR story of the week, with Jets O-line draft pick Oday Aboushi. This kid is a class act all the way, and is smart and highly-educated (UVA). He hasn’t been caught actin’ the fool, or saying outrageous things on Twitter, and certainly hasn’t executed a former friend by shooting him in the head, or stabbed a guy the night of Super Bowl. Yet, he’s had to defend himself against spurious accusations because he’s Palestinian-American and not ashamed of it. An idiotic Yahoo reporter called him a Muslim extremist and compared him to Aaron Hernandez, until finally admitting that the comparison was grossly offensive and innapropriate: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/jets-aboushi-unfairly-compared-aaron-hernandez-twitter-article-1.1396764
    We should be so lucky to have a player with Aboushi’s character instead of Maurkice, who has a lot to learn. I’ve been concerned for a while that Pouncey’s “aw shucks” demeanor in his first year or two was a bunch of BS, and this pretty much proves it. You’re the anchor of an O-line that has a ton of talent now buddy — better start acting like it instead of coasting on past success, or you risk seeming like an overrated chump.

  • walter mason

    Oh really? I guess you missed this photo posted online in April of this year.
    http://www.hauteliving.com/2013/04/celebrity-spotting-aaron-hernandez-mike-pouncey-and-maurkice-pouncey-party-at-surrender/349923/

    Maybe Im jumping to conclusions but Mike was his roommate at UF. They were seen at a nightclub with Hernendez prior to one of his shootings. This picture was taken in Las Vegas. They are wearing “Free Hernendez” hats. I guess it possible that they just accidentally ran into him in Vegas and someone snapped a picture. I hope this is the case.

  • Scott

    Professional athletes can be such morons, even someone supposedly as smart as Maurkice. I wish as a society we did not watch and care so much what they do and say so much. I wish sports were not such a prominent part of our culture. I do admit that I am part of the problem. Is that the first step?

  • Fu-Schnickens

    I’m sure Maurkice is innocent of a crime, however the really troubling facts is that he is hands-down guilty of not exercising common good sense enough to see a complete idiot who otherwise had life by a string do something that has (allegedly) ruined the lives of his newborn child, another person (the person he killed) and his family when he had absolutely zero chance at getting away with it. In other words, Maurkice doesn’t even see that Hernandez, guilty OR innocent, has pissed away any chance at a successful life that most anyone would dream of. I’m afraid that, if you can’t see that, then it might actually be something that you cannot be taught because you lack the innate critical ability to understand the difference between right and glaringly wrong. Knowing what we know about the Rooneys, this is a huge yellow flag.

  • Fu-Schnickens

    Yep, we can….Dumb-Dumber.

  • Fu-Schnickens

    True. You are absolutely free a U.S. citizen to f-up your true gem of a life and career over a complete idiot of a “friend” (Hernandez) who kills people without remorse. You’re also free to be a Blood or a Crip if you so choose….not one of the admirable decisions in life, but you’re free to do so….where I disagree with you is that the organization CAN expect that he act differently. They’re paying him to maintain his character. They CAN fire his dumb ass just the same like my employer can fire me or yours you.

  • SSJwiggy

    While I agree he’s an idiot for doing this in the first place and that he can be a bit of a douche, he isn’t overrated and our Oline would be hurting without him. He’s a pro bowler and has a lot of talent. Let’s not be ignorant.

  • steeltown

    I wont discount the stupidity of it all

  • steeltown

    True… let us not forget that in this country we are ‘supposed’ to remain innocent until proven guilty. Its not as if Hernandez has already been convicted and then MP chose to wear the dumb cap

  • steeltown

    Agreed. I love sports, specifically Football, but in no way do I care what ANY athletes view points are, it would be dangerously foolish to do so and my children will never look up to or idolize any athlete either, atleast not in a humanitarian sense because as you put it, they are mostly moronic, but also immature and for the most part womanizers

  • Shea Fahr

    It was obviously very Stupid. I think we all agree on that. With only a week and a half until training camp, he just could not help himself. It was almost a perfect offseason…almost. Training camp cannot get here quick enough LOL!

  • Shea Fahr

    Agreed.

  • steeltown

    Agreed

  • Kenneth Waters

    Goes to the inherent ignorance of so many pro athletes today. It is a sad commentary on their level of education in presence of a college degree or at least a few years in the college classroom. The behavior belies where they have been and the educational opportunity that was afforded them. It also suggests that athletes continue to be ushered through school without the non-athlete’s requirements that they pass their courses and attend classes to remain in school. I am doubtfull that this will change since the NCAA truly is the farm league for the NFL and the NFL needs it. Now let’s dig into the shadows to find the NFL subsidies to selected schools.